Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership is following Government and NHS guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and continues to closely monitor the situation.

The Scottish Government introduced new national restrictions including additional local restrictions for a number of health boards. These restrictions apply to the Forth Valley area, including the Falkirk Council area. This is because we are seeing a significant increase in Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases as well as evidence of community and household transmissions.

We have worked closely with NHS Forth Valley Public Health Team to consider the national guidance and restrictions. We have looked at what this means for care home visiting and admissions.

We recognise that visiting is important to the wellbeing of residents, families and friends. However it's vital that we continue to do everything possible to ensure the safety of all residents at this difficult time.

New national guidance advises that care home visiting may be gradually increased while minimising the risks to residents, staff and visitors. The guidance also enables local decisions to be taken on when the further extension to care home visiting can be safely put in place.

Given the risks associated with the increase of cases in Forth Valley, our local authority run care homes will not extend the current visiting arrangements until the local situation improves. Where the care home has approval from our local Public Health Team, friends or family members can continue to visit relatives outdoors and indoors, in line with the Phase Three guidance.

Decisions about whether care homes are able to take admissions will be taken with NHS FV Public Health Team. This decision might also impact on planned respite/short breaks for people and their carers. We will work closely with carers and families to consider what other options are available to support them.

We know this is a difficult time for people who use services, family and friends, but it is important that we minimise the risk to people and staff. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and advise you of any change or updates to services.