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lifeways abbeymoor visitor pod covid safe

A Lifeways residential service has created a new way for family and friends to visit through the pandemic – with a visitor pod that’s both see-through and COVID-secure.

Abbeymoor Neurological Centre, located outside Gateshead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, built the pod in the run-up to Christmas and the social visits that would take place then.

“Like many people, the people we support were missing the chance to meet and spend time with their loved ones,” said Louise Watson, Abbeymoor’s Registered Manager.

“We worked to hold video calls so people could stay in touch, but it wasn’t the same as face-to-face contact.”

Thankfully, Abbeymoor already had an area suitable for adapting as a visitor pod – an extension with French doors opening out to the service’s garden.

After a careful study of government guidance on visiting arrangements, Abbeymoor’s Maintenance Manager, Andy Thompson, built a partition sealing off the extension from the service. The partition is made from clear plastic sheeting, anchored to a timber frame.

Caption: Abbeymoor’s Maintenance Manager Andy Thompson at work building the visitor pod. 

Building the visitor pod took Andy just three days – and cost less than £400.  

Since Christmas, the visitor pod has been used several times a week for one-to-one visits.

‘A lot of joy’

“Feedback from everyone has been fantastic,” said Louise, the manager.  

“It’s great to see family members and friends spend time with loved ones in a safe environment, which has brought a lot of joy as well and peace of mind.”

About Abbeymoor:

Abbeymoor Neurological Centre is registered to support 41 adults with acquired brain injuries, Huntington’s disease, and neurological disabilities.

Run by Lifeways, the service is located outside Gateshead, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and is rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission.

About Lifeways:

Lifeways provides support to almost 5,000 individuals who live in our 1,500 supported living and residential services across England, Scotland, and Wales. 

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