Jump to content

Covid: Care home visits advice impractical, say charities

PUBLISHED

The government is facing criticism over its guidance on safe visits to care homes in England.

Labour and a number of charities have described the suggestions, including floor-to-ceiling screens, designated visitor pods and window visits, as impractical. Alzheimer's Society has said it "completely misses the point".

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the guidance was "non-exhaustive".

The updated government advice, which came into effect on Thursday, says care homes - especially those which have not allowed visits since March - "will be encouraged and supported to provide safe visiting opportunities".

Labour's shadow care minister Liz Kendall said many care homes would not be able to comply with the government's requirements which meant "in reality thousands of families are likely to be banned from visiting their loved ones".

She said instead of suggesting measures such as screens, the government should "designate a single family member as a key worker - making them a priority for weekly testing and proper PPE".

Kate Lee, chief executive at Alzheimer's Society, said: "We're devastated by today's new care home visitor guidance - it completely misses the point: this attempt to protect people will kill them."

She said the pandemic had left people with dementia isolated and thousands had died. The guidelines "completely ignore the vital role of family carers in providing the care for their loved ones with dementia that no one else can", she added.

She said the "prison-style screens" proposed by the government with people speaking through phones were "frankly ridiculous when you consider someone with advanced dementia can often be bed-bound and struggling to speak".

That view was echoed by Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, who said she was "acutely aware" that the methods being sanctioned were "unlikely to be useable by many older people with dementia, or indeed sensory loss".

Read full story

Source: BBC News, 5 November 2020

1 reactions so far

0 Comments

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×