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Calls for review of COVID rules as care homes close to admissions

Sam Monaghan III

The government is facing growing calls to revise COVID-19 rules after hundreds of care homes have closed to new admissions.

The UK’s largest charity care provider, MHA, has called on the government to review its visiting restrictions with 70% of its homes currently closed to new admissions due to low levels of staffing and COVID outbreaks.

MHA Chief Executive Sam Monaghan (pictured) said: “We are in a situation again where, for prolonged periods at a time, older people living in care homes across the country are unable to have visits with their family and friends. This is particularly tough for people living with dementia and their loved ones, whose connections are an important part of their care.

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“Approximately 63% of MHA’s care homes are currently deemed to be experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19. Once an outbreak is declared (often involving only 2 cases of COVID), everyone living in these homes can have essential care visits but no wider friends and family may visit for up to four weeks. Meanwhile, in the general population, if we test negative six and seven days after a positive COVID test, we may return to socialising straight away. This is a huge disparity and we need the Government to look again at the scientific evidence and review whether these differing approaches are really required.

“The current rules around outbreaks also mean that care homes find themselves closed to new admissions, leaving older people staying in hospital longer than necessary or not getting the care that they need.”

The call from MHA comes as the Relatives & Residents Association, campaign group Rights for Residents and academic Dr Caroline Emmer De Albuquerque Green of King’s College London, wrote a joint letter to local care leaders urging them to end isolation in care.

The letter calls on local health and care teams to fulfil their legal duties by ensuring restrictions on contact are proportionate. It also provides them with information resources to promote ‘essential caregivers’ to ensure every resident can benefit from this role so vital to their wellbeing.

Helen Wildbore, director of the Relatives & Residents Association, said: “For people living in care away from their families, contact with them becomes all the more important yet they have faced far more stringent restrictions than the rest of the country. For older people in the final stages of life, time is precious. They want to live, not merely to exist. Local authorities, public health teams and care providers must work together with residents and their families to ensure rights are protected before it is too late for too many more.”

Tags : admissionscare home visitsCOVID-19MHA
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The author Lee Peart

7 Comments

  1. Stop playing god with our loved ones ..pity you dont take closer look at how these bloody care homes are manned and run 99% of them are not fit for purpose ..abuse and neglect dont matter just stop loved ones visiting .care homes are a joke they all need cameras in rooms as standard sort the bloody places and staff out

    1. Not all care homes are the same. We have extremely high standards at our with well trained dedicated staff

  2. Mr Monaghan it is not just Care Home it also applies to supported independent living schemes, one i live in an MHA one has been in lockdown now since 22nd December and just been told it extended for a further 10 days subject to there being no new cases and no it was not visitors who brought it in. Staff partying in local pub. Yes am angry.

  3. Barchester Health Care have chosen their own visiting rules, not encouraging visiting. ,I would presume they are allowed to do this.I was denied my human rights to see my relative and they passed away from
    COVID,they certainly didn’t catch it from me,it’s a crazy world.

  4. Comments like these don’t help the situation. Care homes are doing their best in very trying times with guidance force upon them and monitored by the regulatory authorities.

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