Care England, the largest representative body of independent adult social care providers, has called for a review of government guidance to enable care home residents to make trips or visits out.
Professor Martin Green, CEO of Care England (pictured), has given evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights where he emphasised the hard work that care providers had done to facilitate COVID safe visiting. He also highlighted the inconsistencies in the ‘visiting out’ guidance which did not seem to be aligned with the roadmap for the national lockdown. Care home residents are required to isolate for 14 days after leaving their home under current guidance.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “We need to ensure that the Prime Minister’s roadmap works for all including residents of care homes and people living in supported living environments.”
Care England said it continued to work collaboratively with Department of Health and Social Care officials and to connect members directly with the Department in a meaningful way.
Martin added: “It is really hard to produce guidance that will accommodate everybody as there are so many different scenarios at play, but Care England wants to work with the government to try.
“As the nation unlocks, residents want to resume their usual activities whether it is working aged adults with learning disabilities who want to go to work or college or older people residing in care homes who want to go to the park or an excursion. Care providers want to be able to support those in their care; their safety and wellbeing is of paramount importance.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We understand contact with family and friends is vital to the health and wellbeing of residents and we are doing everything we can to provide safe opportunities to meet.
“As part of the roadmap out of lockdown we have updated guidance for care homes to support residents to enjoy out of care home visits in the safest way possible, while also providing more opportunities for visits to take place in care homes.
“Guidance on visits out of care homes will be kept under review including, when the data shows it is safe, the requirement for residents to isolate on their return from a visit.