Calls grow to end restrictions on care home visits

Calls grow to end all curbs on care home visits as many old folk are facing ‘harmful restrictions’ after Covid pandemic

  • Current guidance states visits should be unrestricted unless of a Covid outbreak
  • But campaigners believe too many people are still facing harmful restrictions
  • Organisations have called on health leaders to ‘end harmful isolation practices’

Care home campaigners have demanded an end to ‘harmful restrictions’ on visits still in force post-Covid.

Guidance set by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) states that visits to loved ones should be unrestricted unless there is a Covid outbreak in a home, in which event ‘each resident should be able to have one visitor at a time’.

But ‘too many are still facing harmful restrictions in the name of “protection”’, campaigners have warned.

Care home campaigners have demanded an end to ‘harmful restrictions’ on visits still in force post-Covid (stock photo)

A group of organisations, including Rights for Residents, Care England and the National Care Forum, have called on health and care leaders to ‘end harmful isolation practices’.

In a letter, they said: ‘It is of huge concern that… many relatives still report they are being denied access to loved ones during outbreaks and the current “one at a time” guidance is not being followed.’

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: ‘Those in hospital and care homes should not be deprived of the comfort of regular visits and even during a Covid outbreak we are clear that one visitor should still be given access.’

Helen Wildbore, director of the Relatives & Residents Association, said: ‘Whilst life has gone back to normal for the rest of the country, people living in care have been left behind.

‘Too many are still facing harmful restrictions on their daily lives, all in the name of ‘protection’ and ‘public health’, without recognition of the damage of isolation.

‘Two and half years on and we still haven’t learnt the most basic lesson from this pandemic: without the support of loved ones, people’s mental and physical health suffers greatly.

‘Older people are still paying a heavy price for the failings in the early stages of the pandemic as risk-averse approaches have become deeply embedded.

‘Public health teams must urgently step back to see the bigger picture of this public health crisis and comply with their legal duties to protect wider health and wellbeing.’

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