Relatives have been separated for too long
The imposition of a new lockdown makes it vital that the government starts enabling relatives to visit their loved ones in care and nursing homes, care providers said today.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) says the damage caused by separation is tragic and cannot go on any longer. It says the Government should abandon plans for a pilot visiting scheme and press on with introducing it across the country.
It is supporting the National Care Forum which has got the backing of 60 organisations in its call to ensure the national lockdown does not include locking out care home visitors.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Relatives are desperate to see their loved ones again, as for many it is months since they had any proper contact, which is devastating for everyone involved.
“The mental health of those residents and their relatives is suffering, and it cannot go on any longer.”
The ICG has urged the Government to get on with a proposal to enable people to resume visiting homes, provided they had been tested for Covid-19. The ICG volunteered to provide care and nursing homes to take part in a pilot for the scheme.
But Mr Padgham says the time for a pilot has passed and the Government should skip straight to introducing the scheme.
“The new national lockdown has changed everything. We know what needs to be done: enable designated relatives to be regarded as keyworkers and have regular tests so that they can visit.
“Our residents and their relatives have waited long enough. The mental health and happiness of residents is suffering – particularly those with dementia. We have a solution; we need to get on with it this week.”