Care home ‘window visits’

New government guidance for safe care home visiting during lockdown creates an immediate market for glass processors and installation companies, according to Bohle.

With England in a second period of national lockdown and tight restrictions remaining in place across Wales, Northern Ireland and much of Scotland, new guidance has been published on how the UK’s 21,720 plus care homes can support safe visiting.

This includes putting in place ‘COVID-secure arrangements’ for families to meet ‘such as floor to ceiling screens, visiting pods and window visits’.

With acrylic barriers already proven to fall short of COVID cleaning regimes, Dave Broxton, managing director at Bohle, said demand for glass partitioning and protective screens is ‘sky rocketing’.

“The limitations that COVID-19 has placed on the ability of families to meet with older loved ones has been heart-breaking. In the run into Christmas that’s going to be even more painful,” he said.

“The Government now wants care homes to take action so that families can catch-up, specifically highlighting floor to ceiling glass screens as a suggested solution.

“Given the number of care homes we have in the UK – some 21,000 or so – it creates an enormous market overnight.”

Bohle supplies a range of hardware for floor to ceiling glass screening including its easy-to-fit clamp on profile. Available in 5,000mm and 3,000mm lengths, the pre-drilled profile is fixed to the substrate and ceiling and held in place with high-performance sealing strips, without any requirement for the use of silicone.

The light-weight aluminium u-channel system also accommodates multiple glass thickness up to 21.52mm, using a ‘stepped system’, with position ‘1’ accommodating 8-10.76mm thickness; ‘2’ 12-13.52mm; and ‘3’, 16.76 to 21.52mm.

It’s available in aluminium, stainless steel-effect and mill-finished options.

“The clamp-on two-piece profile is an easy-to-fit product which delivers robust performance, which makes it ideal for installation in a care home visiting environment, allowing families to catch-up, without putting anyone at risk,” Dave said.

The challenge care homes face in protecting their residents is highlighted in research from the London School of Economics, which estimated that half (42-57%) of all coronavirus-related deaths in Europe so far could be among care home residents.

Bohle has also continued to see high levels of demand for VetroScreen, its dedicated cough and sneeze screen solution, including new demand from the higher education sector.

Able to accommodate glass thicknesses of 4mm to 10mm it’s been designed to be fitted in minutes, sliding over the edges of a desk or table and tightened. This creates a secure fix without drilling for screens typically up to 1,000mm high dependent on risk assessment.

A weighted desktop version manufactured in high quality powder coated aluminium and steel also provides a solid foundation for glass screens typically of up to 800mm high dependent on application.

“The second lockdown is clearly very different to the first. I don’t believe we’ll see the shutdowns within the industry that we saw first time around – if nothing else because demand is so high,” Dave said.

“COVID-19 has created opportunities for the glass industry but it is crucially important that protection products are effective, efficient and fit for purpose, even as we all hope that we will not need them for any longer than necessary.

“In removing any requirement to process glass on site, Bohle clamp-on wall profile and VetroScreen, maximise the opportunities that we have in front of us right now.”

Government guidance on safe care home visiting during lockdown is here: