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R&RA launches campaign to end isolation of older people in care

Helen Wildbore II

A campaign to end the isolation of older people in care has been launched by the Relatives & Residents Association (R&RA).

The charity believes the continued isolation of older people in care is putting their human rights at risk and is calling on the government to take urgent action and amend their guidance for the sector.

Launching the #EndIsolationInCare campaign, Helen Wildbore, director of the Relatives & Residents Association, (pictured) said: “The Government’s guidance on visiting is not fit for purpose. Care providers need clarity and leadership. They need clear, practical guidance and support from the Government about managing visits whilst COVID-free, and planning for if they develop cases.

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“We need to achieve a better balance between protecting people from the virus and protecting their well-being. Care homes are people’s homes. They are places where people should expect a good quality of life, not simply to exist.”

The R&RA is calling for a number of changes to the government guidance that was announced in July.

These include removing the ‘single, constant visitor’ requirement, which the R&RA describes as “inhumane” and “impractical” and that creates “painful decisions” for families.

Other changes include the removal of time limits on visits, making regular testing available for visitors as well as residents and staff, stipulating that staff shouldn’t chaperone visits except in exceptional circumstances, and taking decisions on an individual basis.

A Department of Health and 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. 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 should take into account exceptional circumstances – such as end of life.

“Local Directors of Public Health are responsible for the policy on care home visits in their areas and should give a regular professional assessment of whether visiting is likely to be appropriate within the local authority, taking into account the wider risks.”

Tags : Legislation
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The author Lee Peart

5 Comments

  1. Our loved ones have been isolated too long and is definitely affecting their physical and mental health. There is a fise in covid unfortunately and in Nursing homes as well proving isolation has not been the answer. Testing of care home workers should be increased and a nominated rated relative should also be tested a d allowed access to their loved one even if it is only every couple of weeks. The whole issue has been handled in a disgusting manner from allowed untested hospital patients to transfer to Homes and now inhumanely keeping us from our loved ones. Many are talking but let’s have some action ,My husband d is 83 he does not have a lot of time left let me I to hugged him and spend time with him. This situation is Ffe ting relatives mental health as well

  2. A very welcome move. Care Homes, their staff, occupants and visitors, seem to be about the last thing on the Government’s agenda this year.

  3. Have written to our MP who has replied saying she will raise the matter in the House asap. Also written to the Bishop of Durham suggesting he raises the matter in the House of Lords.
    (Rev Canon Brian Hails)
    ps – Any news as to how the Pilot Scheme is going on ??

    1. Hi Brian,
      The government is yet to give a date for the launch of its pilot scheme. We will keep you updated with developments.

  4. so anything actually being done? Most of the old people will be dead before anything changes. Yet for the whole summer flu killed 10 times the number than Covid. And still remains at least 5 times lower. On top of that death figures are normal for this time of year, This is a crime. The government should be shot.

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