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Care homes ignore lifting of Covid curbs and shut out visitors

Sarah was only allowed to see her 78-year-old mother through a small, double-glazed window that opened 2in at the bottom. There had been a Covid outbreak in her care home and her family were barred from entry, contrary to government guidelines.

But this was not December 2020. It was two months ago.

“It was just horrific,” said Sarah. “Mum said, ‘I feel like I’m in prison.’ And it was hard for us to disagree.” Sarah and her sisters kept pushing for visitor rights, offering to wear full PPE, but the home, which charged £1,050 a week, instead issued a 28-day eviction notice, saying they “could not meet the family’s needs”.

In March this year, all restrictions on care homes were lifted. In a Covid outbreak — two or more positive tests — “visits should happen in all circumstances”. Each resident is allowed one visitor, and this does not need to be the same person throughout the outbreak. However, privately run homes are not following government guidelines. 

“We saw a massive, tragic loss of life at the beginning of the pandemic among this demographic,” said Helen Wildbore, director of Relatives and Residents Association. “But now care homes have swung dramatically to the other extreme and they have become medically risk averse at the cost of people’s mental health and quality of life. We know people in isolation who have just given up the will to live, who feel like they have been abandoned.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Times, 23 October 2022

You may also be interested to read these two original blogs posted on the hub:


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