Protection 'pods' set up in Darlington retirement village to allow residents to see family and friends

A series of 'visitor pods' are making it possible for families to visit their relatives at a retirement village near Darlington.

Many vulnerable people have been in isolation since early March. These pods are making it possible for them to see family and friends.

Featuring Perspex screens with a contact-free microphone and loudspeaker system, each pod has an external entrance door for visitors, with residents arriving from within the building on the other side. Between bookings both sides are then disinfected.

Following the success of an initial trial pod at the end of May, the initiative has now been rolled out across all areas of the village community which is located at Middleton St George, near Darlington.

Our top priority has always been to keep residents safe and we started to put plans in place at the start of February.

Middleton Hall MD, Jeremy Walford