Care England has provided a statement on visitation for learning disability providers.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:
“As the rest of the country looks towards the new normal there is very little guidance for care settings in managing the release of lockdown. Care England has therefore developed its own statement for its learning disability members focusing on the potential benefits of fresh air, exercise and carefully managed meetings with family or friends”.
Providers are very aware of the role that friends and family play in supporting their loved ones. The primary concern of providers has, and will continue to be, the health and well-being of all the individuals they support and their staff. With that in mind it is important that we find ways of supporting increased contact with families and friends, but that this is approached in a way that is safe, sensible and does not undo all of the efforts of so many care providers to date.
Care England warns that decisions will need to be revisited as necessary in light of what is likely to be fast-changing guidance in response to the numbers infected and whether these are rising or continue to fall. Such decisions will be vital in mitigating the probability and severity of a second peak.
Martin Green continues:
“The starting point for decision-making must be safety, transparency and a human rights-based approach. Clearly, we cannot ease restrictions for the rest of society while keeping people with care and support needs locked down indefinitely. But the move towards increased liberty of movement must be accompanied by ongoing person-centred risk assessments and with due regard to the safety of other service users and staff”.