Pledge to have visitors in again by Christmas
Care providers have welcomed the announcement promising that care and nursing home residents will be able to enjoy visits from their loved ones before Christmas.
But they have urged the Government to ditch the pilot scheme and urgently introduce visitor testing at all homes straight away.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock this morning said visitor testing would be available for care and nursing homes across the country in time for the festive period.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) said it was welcome news for all care providers.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Separating care and nursing home residents from their loved ones for a prolonged period has been one of the most distressing aspects of the coronavirus pandemic and has been very damaging for both parties’ mental health and wellbeing.
“Providers are very keen to enable visiting again but of course want to do so in the safest way possible for the residents, families and staff at the homes.
“Our pleasure at this pledge is only tempered by the fact that we have had Government promises before and they have failed to materialise.
“We question whether we need to have the pilot programme – which has only just started at 20 homes. By the time that pilot has been completed and the results considered we will be getting perilously close to Christmas. Our advice would be to press ahead with getting testing kits and training out to the homes as soon as possible and not delay any further.”