Bella Dooley and her daughter Beverley

Residents at RMBI Care Co. Home Ecclesholme, in Eccles, Manchester were delighted to be able to meet their loved ones in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The Home has opened its doors to family visits, following new guidance from the government, which allows each care home resident to receive visits from one family member or loved one.

One of the first residents to be reunited with her daughter in person was 101 year old Bella Dooley.

Bella was extremely happy to see her daughter again and to tell her how much she loves her in person and even got the chance to sing their favourite song together.

Bella’s daughter, Beverley, said: “It’s my first visit in the last twelve months and to be able to hold my mum’s hand and have that contact with her again was amazing. The safety guidance and procedures were excellent. The instructions given, risk assessment and testing were handled really professionally. I felt everything was done to make my visit as safe and secure as possible.”

To ensure the health and safety of residents and staff at the care home, each visitor must undertake a lateral flow test before entering the Home and receive a negative result for Covid-19, before meeting their loved one in person. They must also wear suitable personal protective equipment (PPE), which includes gloves, apron and a mask.

Ecclesholme closed its doors to all but essential visitors before the first national lockdown last year to protect its residents and staff. Families have still been able to visit using the Home’s Covid-secure visitor pod, which opened last summer.

Staff have worked tirelessly to ensure residents have had regular contact with their families by phone or video calls. However, this is the first time residents have been able to meet in the same room as their loved one without a physical partition.

Home Manager, Beverley Niland, said: “We have been waiting for this moment for a long time and are overjoyed to be able to reunite our residents safely with their loved ones in person.”

“Throughout the pandemic, our staff have gone above and beyond to support our residents to stay connected with their loved ones, which is vital for their wellbeing.

We are so pleased to be moving in the right direction and are looking forward to opening our Home up to more visitors and larger gatherings when it is safe to do so.”