Care HomesNews

Care home restrictions are ‘affecting quality of life’ says Four Seasons Care CEO

Four Seasons CEO Jeremy Richardson has hit out at a “total imbalance” between the current restrictions on care home visiting and the threat posed by COVID-19.

With families once again only able to visit their loved ones through windows or visiting pods due to the latest restrictions on care homes, Mr Richardson has described the current situation as “an absolute outrage”, with people being “deprived of their right to visitors”.

There is a total imbalance between the current risk posed by COVID to our residents and the restrictions imposed by Government,” the Four Seasons chief added.

“Depriving people of their right to visitors makes it difficult to provide our residents with a quality of life and is not justified by the statistics. In the last two weeks less than 1% of the deaths among our residents can be attributed to COVID. We ask that policy reflects the facts, which show that the vaccination programme and our strict infection controls are working well.”

Before Christmas, Sajid Javid, the health secretary, announced that any care home in outbreak should close its doors to indoor visitors for up to 28 days after the last positive case, except for ‘essential care givers’ or if a resident is at the end of life.  Day-to-day visitors are also restricted to just three named people, however Mr Richardson said the current government restrictions makes it difficult to give residents “a quality of life and is not justified by the statistics”.

Brian Murray, who runs Abbey Court Care Home in Easterhouse Glasgow said he agreed with the calls after it recorded one Covid death in the last fortnight.

Speaking with Glasgow EveningT imes Mr Murray said: “He is right, we have a lot more knowledge and understanding of the virus now and, coupling that with our knowledge and experience of dealing with outbreaks, it is nonsense to ban visiting yet again.

“There’s no reason it cant be allowed as long as its managed properly and that may mean restricting visits and re-imposing some of the measures we used we when first re-opened.

“It also seems a bit mixed, we have two staff who had a positive LFD result and Public Health told us to take no action unless the PCR’s came back positive, they did and we have ordered mass testing for the residents but still have not been instructed to lock down.

“It may be because they trust our judgement now and are happy to accept the measures we impose; we restricted visiting to essential only but anyone can have an essential visit it’s not restricted to one named visitor.”