Visiting support bubble in Tier 4

My husband and I have formed a support bubble with my father in law since 22nd December 2020. We were fostering before and child has now gone back to his mums.
We went to see my husband’s father last Saturday, for a minimal time, wearing PPE and social distancing.
He has carers about 6 times a day and one overnight, due to his waking up and sometimes confused and used to fall out of bed.
We travelled from a Tier 4 to another 4, which was acceptable reason according to the guidelines.
It is my father in law’s 100th birthday tomorrow and he has no other nearby relatives. My husband is next of kin and has Power of Attorney for info.
The owner carer of his care team was supportive last Sunday, that we were planning to go up for his birthday and offered to get a gazebo for his garden for the few family members that may be able to travel up separately and not mix.

The council are at present paying for his care under community Covid grant rules for the last 5 months and a review is due.

Two days later, my husband received a telephone call from his dad’s social worker. She mentioned her concerns about the visit to his dad, he informed her that is was under compassionate reasons to support his mental health. She then said that the Carer Manager needs to know his plans for travelling up for his birthday, my husband said the carer manager was going to liaise with him the plans on Wednesday. But the next day, the Social worker phoned back to say that she liaised with her manager and the manager reported the proposed visit to the Safeguarding team and to the Police.
My husband spoke to the line manager who said the referral is staying with safeguarding and also the police are to follow the guidelines.
He looked at the latest guidelines for support bubbles in Tier 4 and sent them to him highlighting in an email and to the Carer Manager.
In the meantime, the Carer Manager of his dad’s care team phoned my husband at 12.30pm and said his dad had a slight cough and she phoned GP who said to arrange for a Covid test. We then received an email from social worker manager saying we were not to travel to a potentially positive Covid house.
We asked the care manager if we could see him from outside window in garden, she said only with permission from the safeguarding team. But my husband has since thought that if he were to only stand outside window unable to speak to his dad, it would upset his dad greatly that he couldn’t come into the house.
In the meantime, my husband spoke to the Police and they said there was no problem travelling up and going into his house if he didn’t have Covid because it was clear that my husband was following the guidelines. Since the Covid test was ordered yesterday, it has not arrived yet by courier over 24 hours later.
We are concerned that if positive (really really hope he doesn’t become ill) that she will drag it out that we cannot visit even over the 14 days as he could have symptoms over a longer time.
Any advice would be welcome.

What a horrible situation for you all. If the Police say it’s OK then send a copy to the Manager and say you are coming. I really hope you get to see your FIL tomorrow.

Oh Christina, what a situation.

Does your FIL live in his own home? As the police say, he is allowed visitors from his support bubble (your household,) though the other family visitors shouldn’t be visiting him whilst he is in tier 4.

Does your FIL really have a continuous cough? Or do you think they are fabricating this?

I don’t know how it would affect visiting your FIL if he had Covid; though iif one of you tested positive, you wouldn’t want to risk visiting him until after you had self isolated.

Do you think the owner carer of the care team contacted the social worker? Are the care workers worried they are at higher risk of getting Covid if he has visitors? Would ensuring you don’t visit whilst he is receiving care and promise to clean touch points and air the house etc before you leave, would reassure them?

The social worker sounds very heavy handed. Since the police say you have done nothing wrong, safeguarding should throw out the referral.


Coronavirus guidance

Last updated: 1 January 2021 14.27

Thankyou for all your replies.

Melly, yes he does live in his own home and no, he doesn’t have a continuous cough as we have done two video calls since, didn’t hear even one cough over the 15 minutes calls.

Yes, we do think the owner of the care team did phone the social worker as no one else knew we were planning to go up for his birthday.
When my husband has visited he has worn the PPE provided in the hallway and used the hand sanitizer.
Husband just messaged the care team owner for what is temperature has been, the highest temp was 37.3, 2 days ago.

His Covid test has not arrived since ordered yesterday early afternoon, my husband asked her to chase it up and her reply was that when she did chase it up, that she was told it would arrive today. But it hasn’t yet. We shall phone ourselves in the morning as when we tried to phone 119, not long ago the phone lines were closed.



Forgot to write, that there is no other family visiting him as, our 2 sons and daughter were also going to be travelling up in separate cars are they are not in the same bubble as each other and we all live 200 miles away.
We were warned from safeguarding that no other family member were allowed to travel either.
So much for human rights.

]Further to my first post saying that we were advised by father in law’s social worker that we were not to travel or enter father in law’s house, but no reason given, except that we were not following travelling guidelines BUT we were. My husband and I know the guidelines inside out by now and that is:
We can travel to visit our support bubble and even stay overnight, even though the support bubble has Carers.

But the Carers agency owner contacted social services about our intended visit for his 100th birthday 2 days ago and my husband was reported to safeguarding and Police.
My husband has visited every month since July, when travel was easier anyway. Last visits were end of November and then Boxing day.
No reason has been given by social worker or Safeguarding BUT the police have said that we could travel, due to the reasons given in accordance with the latest guidelines BUT then when husband informed Carers agency owner/manager, she said father in law has a slight cough last Thursday. Covid test done, result back today saying ‘inconclusive’ another Covid test kit has been requested to do another one.
If the next test shows negative, then what can he do to enable him to visit?
The Carers agency manager said it’s not up to her but social services, they won’t give any other reason - does that mean he can see him only outside his sitting room window until Covid is gone? which will cause his dad great distress as he will want him to come into the house. He had a heart attach in November, no treatment, kept home, is housebound and no other visitors besides the carers. What about his dad’s psychological wellbeing? It is deeply distressing my husband.
How can my husband deal with repairs, post also. It seems the carers deal with the post and phone my husband to get repair people in if needed, without my husband reviewing the job.
There are no other relatives apart from our children and a niece and nephew who are not in his bubble and live too far away anyway.

Hi Christina,

Age Uk have this information on safeguarding re the elderly Although it is more about protecting the elderly from abuse, it is useful in that it outlines what constitutes abuse and what becomes a safeguarding matter. Armed with this information, perhaps you could contact Adult safeguarding yourselves, explain you have POA and ask what the concerns are. Probably best to do this as an email and a signed for letter. Include with it, the relevant government information re bubbles, travel to visit the vulnerable etc.

You could also try the Carers UK helpline

You can email us at > > and we will respond to your enquiries within 10 working days, although it can often be sooner.

Our telephone helpline providing information is open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm - 0808 808 7777

or the Age UK helpline

Age UK Advice Line: 0800 678 1602

Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year.

Tread carefully with the care manager though, as you do not want them to give notice on providing care for him.


Old thread locked. Usual reasons.