UK charity, John’s Campaign, has called for a judicial review of the UK government’s guidance on visiting care homes.
The charity said its case against the guidance, which was issued in July, was based on the belief that family members were not visitors but were integral to care home residents’ wellbeing and happiness. It said the government had failed to take into account care home residents’ human rights.
Co-founders of the charity, Nicci Gerrard and Julia Jones, said: “Neither of us ever dreamed we’d be involved in a legal challenge like this. We know we’re speaking for thousands who are experiencing extraordinary bewilderment and anguish.
“We can only hope that the government will waste no more of these people’s precious time and will give clear direction and the necessary support for their needs and wishes to be respected.”
John’s Campaign has appointed Leigh Day solicitors and Matrix Chambers to mount a legal challenge to the guidance.
The news comes as care home visits were stopped due to a local spike in COVID-19 cases in Caerphilly county, Wales and new restrictions were put in place in St Michael’s Ward and Lower Stoke in Coventry.
A Department of Health of Social Care spokesperson said: “We know that limiting visits in care homes has been difficult for many families and residents who want to see their loved ones, but our first priority is to prevent infections in care homes, and this means that visiting policy should still be restricted, with alternatives sought wherever possible.
“Visiting policies should be tailored by the individual care home and taking into account local risks in their area.”