Skip to main content

Guidance for Visitors to Orchard Trust Services


This guidance document is provided to support an enjoyable visiting experience for all.  It was designed following consultation with families and staff during Spring 2024.

Before your visit

Admin opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Smallholding, Therapy Suite opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm, please call ahead if you wish to visit outside of these hours.

We have an open door approach to visiting in our residential and supported living homes, but you may wish to call in advance to ensure your loved one is home and well enough to see you.  Let us know if you would like to take your loved one out so we can try to ensure they are ready before you arrive.

Please consider the best time of day for visiting, meal times and staff handover can be busy and may be best avoided.  

With the above exceptions, it will be best for you to plan your visit between 9am and 8pm. Outside of these hours please phone in advance to make arrangements (unless it is an emergency situation).

Your loved one shares a home or communal space with others, therefore it is important to be mindful of all in the home when you visit.

Please remember, staff are required to work within the care plans and protocols for your loved one, along with other Trust policies. It is important not to ask staff to deviate from these, but to let the service manager know if you feel there is a problem.

If the service is experiencing isolated cases of infections you may be asked to practise infection prevention and control measures as advised by management which may include the wearing of personal protective equipment. In the event of widespread illness or infection within the service, direction will be taken from the local Health Protection Team regarding access into the premises.     

Managers work Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and are often very busy! They are always keen to see you, but if you wish to have a meeting with them it is often more practical to call ahead and book a time which works for all.

Any children accompanying visitors must be supervised at all times by an adult to protect everybody’s safety.

If you wish to bring a pet, please contact the service management in advance of the visit to discuss this further.

If you are unwell, e.g. with cold, flu or stomach bug, please consider postponing your visit to prevent transmission of illness to clients and staff.

Please ensure you report any injury, hazard or problem to staff immediately so they can take appropriate action. Also, it is important for everyone that any requests made to you by staff around immediate health and safety concerns are listened to and acted upon.

Please note, all Trust premises are non-smoking environments and smoking or vaping is only permitted within designated smoking areas.

If you wish to pay a compliment please let staff and/or management know, you can also let us know directly through the Contact Us page of our website. It is always good to hear when we have done well. Conversely, if you wish to make a complaint this can also be done through the Contact Us website page and our complaints policy is also available on the website.

Stowfield site and Smallholding

There is additional guidance and rules for visitors to the Stowfield site and Smallholding, these can be found on the notice board at the side of the Barn.

Upon arrival at the service

Parking spaces are limited so park considerately and avoid idling your car engine as this increases the level of pollution in the area as well as potentially impacting client behaviour.

Ring the doorbell or knock, as appropriate, and wait for the door to be answered – bearing in mind this may take a few minutes if staff are busy.

Sign in using whichever system is in place at that time, also remember to sign out at the end of your visit, guidance on using the digital system should be located by the device. There is no need to concern yourself with the names or details of other visitors to the site.

All visitors are encouraged to sanitise their hands, where gel is provided, both on entering and leaving premises.

You are welcome to:

Raise any concerns you have around your loved one’s care with staff. If they are unable to provide an answer to your query please cease asking staff and contact the service manager during their working hours.

Visit your loved one in their bedroom, providing they are happy for you to do so. You may also access shared living spaces providing this does not intrude on others in the home.

Share information, preferences and stories which may help improve support for your loved ones.

Bring in gifts for your loved one, including food and drink, please ensure staff are aware so it can be dealt with appropriately.  This also applies if you are returning from an outing and bring items into the home.

Ask to use facilities if needed. Staff are also likely to offer you a drink, however if they are busy they may not have time, so please ask if you are thirsty.

Raise any concerns you may have regarding staff or management with an appropriate senior member of staff only. It is important to avoid making detrimental comments about staff, management or others. 

Please avoid: 

Raising your voice, arguing or making unacceptable levels of noise as this is disruptive and upsetting to all.

Making unreasonable demands on staff as they will be busy supporting all who live in the home.  Staff may also ask you to do something or to move from an area whilst supporting another person in the home, please be mindful and respectful of other clients and comply with the request.  There is no need to try to intervene or take over. 

Asking questions or encouraging conversations which may breach another’s confidentiality or personal information. If a private conversation is needed it can be held in a quiet area – but ensure you only enter another’s private space, including managers offices, with permission.

Taking photos or videos without asking permission from a senior member of staff, this is to ensure the privacy and dignity of others is maintained.

Making rude and/or inappropriate comments to staff.  We take staff safety very seriously and any visitor found making rude or inappropriate comments towards staff or other visitors, e.g. comments of a sexual nature, or any comment considered to be harassing, rude or bullying in nature will lead to the visitor potentially being asked to leave and/or facing restrictions on further visits and their interactions with the Trust. If necessary, a report may be made to the police.

Interfering with, amending or removing Trust property, signage or other items in the home without permission from a senior member of staff. Visitors have a general responsibility to look after the Trust’s property whilst at any Trust service and to give due consideration to security issues.

Please also refer to the following policies which are available on the Trust’s website.  If you would like a paper copy please ask the service management.

  • Bullying and Harassment policy
  • Complaints policy
  • Premises Access and Security Policy – Staff and Visitors
  • Privacy policy

The Trust cannot be held responsible for injuries suffered as a result of violating this policy.

CQC also have published guidance for visiting in care homes, it can be found here:

The Government has also provided guidance for visiting during an infectious outbreak, which can be found here:

This document is subject to change and will be updated on the Orchard Trust’s website accordingly.


Signed:     Cathy Andrews – Chief Executive Officer Issue Date: June 2024