More than 150 people have been evicted from care homes following disputes over visiting, according to a campaign group.
Care Campaign for the Vulnerable (CCFTV) told the Mirror that the number of evictions was probably the “tip of the iceberg” with “hundreds of families in similar positions afraid to speak out”.
CCFTV founder and director Jayne Connery said: “Families say some homes don’t facilitate visits, even at a closed window. Some haven’t seen loved ones for six months. Evicting an elderly person from a care home can bring severe decline physically and emotionally.”
The report cites the example of Emma Knaggs whose mother Valerie Boxford was asked to leave Forest Manor in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire.
Ms Knaggs said her mother was evicted after she repeatedly requested ‘closed-window visits’. Ms Knaggs said she made the requests after seeing her was “rapidly deteriorating” during video calls.
Home Manager Heeran Mahadoo said the building could not accommodate Ms Knaggs’ request and had been left with no choice but to issue the eviction notice after her campaign had caused stress to staff.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “People in care homes and their families rightly expect the highest standards of care and it is completely unacceptable for anyone to be forced to leave unfairly. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published guidance last year to help care homes understand and comply with their responsibilities under consumer law, and they will crack down on unfair practices where necessary.
“We understand the pain and the very real consequences of loved ones being separated and we must get the balance right between reuniting families and ensuring care staff and residents are safe and preventing the transmission of from COVID-19.
“We are beginning a trial of testing visitors to care homes in the coming days to give families more opportunities to reunite with relatives.”