5 Innovative Solutions To Facilitate Safe Visiting At Care Homes

Stay safe

‘I know how incredibly hard visiting restrictions have been for families, friends and residents in care homes. There is no escaping the pain and the very real consequences of being separated for such a long period of time. The accounts I have heard personally are truly heart-breaking, especially where care homes have been unable to reopen for visiting during the summer. We must get the balance right between reuniting families and ensuring care staff and residents are safe from COVID-19’

These words from Helen Whateley, Minister for Care, accompanied the Government’s new guidance about care home visitation which has been very much in the news this week.

nurse and patient protection supplies

Here at Hcsuk we have been working with our care home customers, following their requests, asking us how we could help them to facilitate safe visits for improved engagement and health and well-being of their residents and their families. So we have been researching safe, innovative and fit for purpose solutions to enable care homes to create safe and protected environments and make these visits happen.

In this article we share 5 innovative solutions how Hcsuk have been helping our care home customers to prepare for safe visits

1. Providing Safe And Trusted Temperature Screening

With temperature checking now becoming a normal part of life in care homes, for residents, staff and visitors, this can be time consuming, labour intensive and requires ongoing costs to cover consumables.

Using our wall mounted infrared thermometer allows staff and visitor temperatures to be screened instantly, effectively and without contact. A motion sensor on the thermometer that is activated with the infrared enables the temperature to be taken. It protects residents, staff and visitors, improving health and safety without creating queues or delays.

The device has been registered and regulated as a medical device, intended for screening of fever-like symptoms as per the latest MHRA guidance,

Our customers have been placing these in visiting areas and main reception areas either wall mounting them or using a separate tripod support.


  • Fast and effective
  • Non-contact – avoids cross-infection
  • Reduces staff time having to constantly and physically screen temperatures and report results
  • Instant audio/visual warning if temperature is high
  • Wall mounted (fixtures included) or attached to a tripod (purchased separately)

Non contact thermometer

2. Introducing Free Standing And Mobile Hand Washing

The best form of hand hygiene to reduce the risk of cross contamination is still washing your hands. Our customers have been asking us to provide a range of either free standing or mobile foot operated hand wash basins available that they can install at ideal locations where visiting will take place, for peace of mind in infection control.


  • Foot operated – reducing the risk of cross contamination
  • Sensor option or automatic water supply
  • The foot is designed backwards to avoid accidents
  • Soap dispenser incorporated into the unit
  • Some ranges require plumbing and electricity supply
  • Wastepaper bin incorporated into the unit

hand wash basin

3. Touch Free Hand Sanitising For Reduced Cross Infection

Our customers have been requesting touch free mobile and free-standing hand sanitiser dispensers for where handwashing facilities are not easily accessible. They are proving very popular for placing in visiting rooms, reception areas and staff entrances providing easy access to instant hand sanitisation where water and hand wash is not available.


  • Reduces the risk of cross contamination
  • Free standing
  • Mobile – can be placed at strategic areas required (stand purchased separately)
  • Works with type C batteries – no electrical supply needed
  • A 70% alcohol hospital specification clear hand sanitizing gel – Contains emollients to prevent the drying of skin

Hand sanitising dispensers

4. Safe And Easy Dispensing Of Personal Protective Equipment

Wall mounted dispensers for gloves and aprons have been extremely popular with our care homes for protecting residents and their families during visits and preventing cross contamination. They can be placed in at entrances to visiting rooms and reception areas enabling easy access to individual products without touching multiple items.

With several compartments that provide easy access to the contents, the glove and apron dispenser offers a quick and practical solution to the routine changing of disposables. This means that a pair of gloves can be changed at a moment’s notice without having to worry about handling boxes or other containers where germs can live or spread.


  • Provides 3 glove compartments and an apron roll holder for easy and convenient access to disposables.
  • Easy to use
  • Practical design

Apron and glove dispenser

5. Fast And Effective Room Sanitisation

Customers have asked us to help them solve the issue of how to sanitise and disinfect visiting areas quickly and effectively between appointments. We have researched the market and have found the best current technology on the market in this area – X-MIST a broad-spectrum which is formulated specifically for deodorising and sanitising all types of space from hospitals, clinics and hotel rooms to vehicles and much more. It is fully tested, approved and certified to kill Coronavirus and is easy and quick to use as rooms can be re-entered 1 hour after use, minimising the down time of rooms and maximising family time.


  • Eliminates a broad spectrum of bacteria including E- coli, Salmonella and Legionellae’s
  • Kills germs responsible for colds, flu, staph infections, and MRSA for a healthier environment
  • Remains active for up to 7 days after use
  • Disinfects places that might otherwise be missed, overlooked, or out of reach
  • Fully tested to British Standards BS EN 14476, BS EN 1276 & BS EN 1650

X-mist information

We want to help you provide high quality, compassionate care and infection control for your care home ensuring that families reunite in the safest way possible and to keep residents from experiencing loneliness.

If you would like to know more about these products or further advice and guidance, we are here to support you.

nurse and patient protection supplies

We hope you’ve enjoyed the article and find the information insightful. Why not leave a comment or suggestion below!

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Customer Testimonials

“We’ve built a strong working relationship with Hcsuk over many years, having used them to source, install and service our medical training equipment. We have always found the team very professional, helpful, and well-organised. We’d like to give a particular shout out to Phil, the technician / engineer who has been the consistent friendly face visiting our business to inspect and test our mobility hoists every 6 months. Thank you for all your support and advice.”

P. B. (Care Manager), Blue Bird Care Ltd

You are part of a great company, if we can help you grow by contracting you out to our sites its good for you, but it’s great for us because your service is fantastic, very efficient, everyone within Hcsuk is super helpful in answering queries and every time we’ve had an issue, Hcsuk has always been there to solve the problem almost immediately, which is fantastic.

Leicestershire County Council

Truly exceptional levels of customer service, the best I have experienced for many years. Very helpful staff made follow up calls to ask how the equipment was performing and supplied extra user instructions to supplement the manufacturers manual. I would not hesitate to order from this company again.

Savills Estate Agents

We would just like to pass on our thanks for all of your help with our orders and would be pleased if you would also pass on our thanks to the manufacturers for being so accommodating in meeting our requirements. We have found everyone very helpful.

Lincs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Since I set up the account for Hcsuk over 18 months ago I have found them to be an excellent advocate of our products. They have been willing to learn about the technical and servicing elements to our hoists and the sales staff have really taken on board and proactively promoted our range where possible. I feel that as a company Hcsuk have got the desire and right people in place for growing in this competitive industry. They seem to push themselves to go that little bit further and offer that little bit more to stand out from the rest. May our relationship continue going from strength to strength.

Joerns Healthcare

As a care home manager I have used Hcsuk for my supplies for the last 20 years in two homes. I have always found them to be helpful and reliable. Their products are of the highest standards, they are able to source anything. The delivery service is prompt and regular so I do not have to keep large amounts of stock. They supply extra services such as servicing and repairs which are done efficiently, and training in COSHH. The reps are pleasant and helpful bringing new products to my attention but are never ”pushy”. Aftercare is good, any problems soon sorted. I would recommend them highly and would not think of using anyone else.

Littleover Nursing Home

HPC have supplied Hcsuk (Health Care Services Ltd) for well over a decade now and we would consider them to be a high quality and professional business run in an organised and progressive manor. We do not rank our customers or have a preferred customer status but if we were to introduce such a scheme I can confirm that Hcsuk would easily make such a grade.

HPC Healthline

As a manufacturer we look for key values in a distributor some of these include honesty, reliability, commitment and reputation. Hcsuk carry all of these and many more. With a twenty plus year working relationship we now place Jo and the team at the top of our distributor list. I have no hesitation in recommending Hcsuk to any prospective manufacturer or customer and wish Jo and the team all the best for the future.

Cleenol Group Ltd

It is brilliant that we are able to ring Health Care Services and that you will go the extra mile to get us the stock we need as soon as possible.

Rykneld View Nursing Home

Just to say a huge thankyou to you and your fantastic team, and I mean that from the Heart. I have never before experienced such a person centred company.

Hampton Grange Nursing Home

What I like about working with Health Care Services is the relationship we have built up and the personal service. The homes report that you always deliver on time, the quality is consistently good and the prices competitive. Your team members are always willing to go that extra mile for us and if ever we have an issue there is always someone there to save the day.

Eastgate Care

Thanks to Jo for going over and above to get us our items in time for our special event at Buddleia House – it was very much appreciated. A massive thankyou for your continued assistance as a supplier to ourselves.

Buddleia House

We have always received excellent services from everyone at HCS at our 2 care homes, especially Lee, Jo and Phil. Always professional with a quick response time. Nothing ever seems too much trouble. Recently I had to use them personally for equipment to enable my mothers discharge from hospital. I had a response within the hour for prices and delivery came straight from the manufacturer to speed up delivery. Phil arrived at the same time to put the equipment together for us! I can’t thank them enough for putting our minds at ease and for the continued support from a personal and professional perspective. I’d recommend them to anyone requiring care equipment and its nice to support local businesses. Especially when they do such a good job!!

Orla House

I contacted HCSUK trying to find a hoist that could be operated unaided by the client. I had become very disheartened, no-one was really helpful until I spoke to Donna at HCSUK.

Donna was incredibly understanding, her professionalism raised my spirits again. Everything Donna said she would do she did, including arranging for me to speak to Andrew the salesman who like Donna was incredibly helpful, happy to bring two machines to demonstrate.

I can’t recommend them highly enough. They are good people.

Penelope C

I spoke to Lee Atterbury 2 weeks ago, when I was despairing about the prospect of finding any equipment to help my husband in the bathroom. I had tried all the popular brands, but none were right for his needs.

When I spoke to Lee he understood what I was saying and set about trying to find what we need. He was so patient and understanding and gave me the confidence to explore outside the box.

I spoke to Lee today and was able to tell him that we, hopefully, have found the solution. I am sorry that it was not a product you sell, though you may in the future, but will certainly look first to HCS for other products.

Thank you so much to Lee for first class customer service.

Christine G, Sheffield

VAT Relief Information

Conditions for VAT relief for disabled people

Some of the products which can be purchased from the Hcsuk website are available for an eligible person to purchase without paying VAT on them. HM Revenue and Customs sets out the conditions when equipment for disabled people might be free of VAT and how to claim exemption from paying VAT on these products.

Products a can only be exempt from VAT when all the following conditions are met:

  1. The customer is eligible to purchase supplies at the zero rate
  2. The goods are for the personal or domestic use of the customer
  3. The goods and services are eligible to be supplied at the zero rate

A more detailed explanation of each of these conditions is given below, but you should visit the HM Revenue and Customs Website to fully understand the conditions

The product must be being purchased for someone who is chronically ill or disabled.

A person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’ if he/she is a person:

It does not include a frail elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.

‘personal or domestic’ use means that the supply must be made available specifically for the use of an eligible individual.

You don’t have to physically buy the goods in person. If your parent, guardian or wife or husband buys the goods and services for you, then you won’t be charged VAT.

What counts as personal or domestic use?

Personal or domestic use means that the goods or services are supplied for your own private use, rather than for business purposes. Also, the goods or services must be just for your own use – not for use by anyone else, or chronically sick or disabled people in general. However, if you and your partner are both chronically sick or disabled and you buy goods or services for both of you to use, then you won’t have to pay VAT.

Products which are offered for sale on this website which qualify for VAT relief to be claimed for an eligible person.

The products which can be bought without paying VAT are:

Only the products on our site carrying the VAT exemption price (the smaller price marked ex VAT) are eligible to be purchased this way and you must tick the box on the basket page indicating that you wish to claim VAT exemption on the items in your basket that are eligible for VAT relief.

How to claim

On the my basket page of this website a link to the online declaration form is provided if the basket contains a product that qualifies for VAT relief. You must tick the box to state you wish to claim VAT relief on the eligible product and complete in full the reason by which you are ‘chronically sick or disabled’ and name and address of the claimant. If possible the person making the claim should complete this form, but a family member, carer or medical professional may complete the form on the claimants behalf. To submit the claim and receive the VAT relief, click the ‘Submit VAT Relief Claim’ button before proceeding to the checkout.

Please note that all orders submitted with a VAT relief claim form completed are checked before the order is processed.

It is necessary to complete a separate claim form each time a qualifying product is purchased from Hcsuk.


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