Government guidance on the resumption of care home visits lacks clarity and leadership, a leading care group has said.
Helen Wildbore, director of the Relatives & Residents Association (R&RA), (pictured) said the guidance, which was issued last week, encouraged a “blanket approach” that would lead to unfair policies.
The R&RA director said the guidelines provided scant practical advice on future management of the virus, failed to commit the support required for implementation (such as PPE and regular testing for visitors) and was difficult to follow.
“After such a long delay in government guidance on safely opening up care homes, many families will be disappointed with the lack of clarity and practical support it offers,” Helen added.
“Our helpline callers are concerned that the new advice takes us backwards, reversing some measures care homes have put in place to facilitate visits. It is a far cry from the strategy R&RA have been calling on the government to produce. Older people needing care have felt like an afterthought throughout this crisis. Sadly, this is yet another example of government action which is too little, too late to protect the rights of people needing care.”
Care England CEO, Professor Martin Green OBE, has also been critical of the guidance saying it failed to address supporting living, volunteers and support staff ratios, and contained insufficient information about Local Outbreak Boards and how a dynamic risk assessment may affect the frequency of visits.