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Found 12 results
  1. News Article
    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
  2. News Article
    A senior judge has said friends and family can legally visit their loved ones in care homes, in an apparent challenge to recent government policy that has in effect banned routine visits in areas of high COVID-19 infection. Mr Justice Hayden, vice-president of the court of protection which makes decisions for people who lack mental capacity, said courts are concerned about the impact on elderly people of lockdowns. He has circulated a memo that sets out his analysis that regulations do “permit contact with relatives” and friends and visits are “lawful”. He was responding to guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) last month telling thousands of care homes in England that visiting should be stopped in areas with tier 2 and tier 3 lock down restrictions, apart from in exceptional circumstances such as the end of life. It triggered blanket prohibitions by some councils and sparked anguish from relatives who warn a lack of contact is leading to misery and early death in some cases. Within a week, Gloucestershire county council told care homes in its area to stop visits until next spring. With the England-wide lockdown starting on Thursday, care home providers, families and groups including Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society, have called on ministers to this time make clearer provisions for visiting. Hayden said exceptions in the existing regulations mean contact with residents staying in care homes is lawful for close family members and friends. He said the court of protection was concerned about “the impact the present arrangements may have on elderly people living in care homes,” citing their suffering. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 2 November 2020
  3. News Article
    A GP commissioning leader has publicly criticised hospital visiting rules at local hospitals, after hearing that a stroke patient was denied seeing family or friends for six weeks. Philip Stevens, a locality chair at Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), described the situation reported to him by one of his patients as “heartbreaking”, and has challenged visiting policies at Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital trusts. During a CCG governing body meeting, Dr Stevens called for explanation from the county’s director of public health, Lucy Wightman, who said trusts could choose their own rules. Dr Stevens, who is also a GP at Brackley Medical Centre, argued that visitors were permitted in neighbouring counties, where he claimed there were similar covid case rates to Northamptonshire, which remains in tier 1 restrictions under the government’s framework. He said: “I’ve been dealing this week with a family who, the wife’s husband, has been in Northampton General for six weeks now and has had no visitors at all during that time. He’s had a profound stroke and when he comes home he’ll need considerable community support which ordinarily the family would have been trained in but discharge is planned without any of that training.” Mr Stevens said in an “adjacent county” hospital policy was that each patient would have ”one hour, one visitor each day” with 30-minutes in between visiting slots. While not named, trusts in neighbouring Cambridge and Lincolnshire both have policies that permit pre-booked visitors. He added: “When I heard this story it seemed heartbreaking to me for this woman and her husband and I just wonder whether that this is a situation we should be challenging, particularly since it appears that the public health advice in an adjacent county may be different to that which is being offered within Northamptonshire.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 27 October 2020
  4. News Article
    A group of experts in nursing and infection prevention and control (IPC) is today warning against the use of IPC measures as a “rationale” for stopping safe and compassionate visits in care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a new open letter published in Nursing Times, the specialists say that preventing people from visiting loved ones in social care settings in the name of IPC is a “misinterpretation and at times even abuse” of IPC principles. The letter is the brainchild of independent global health consultant and former Infection Prevention Society (IPS) president, Jules Storr. Among the signatories are five former IPC presidents, current president Pat Cattini as well as incoming president Jennie Wilson. Dr Ron Daniels, chief executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, is also on the list, Helen Hughes, chief executive of Patient Safety Learning, as well as leading IPC nurse specialists, nurse academics, a GP and carers. Ms Storr, a nurse by background, and the hub topic lead, said she was motivated to take action after hearing “the most heart-breaking” stories from health professionals and relatives of residents about restricted visits in the UK in the wake of COVID-19. Some had not seen relatives for weeks or months, whilst others were only allowed to see their loved one once a week for 20 minutes at a distance, she said. One individual had told her how when their father had died only one family member was permitted in the home and they were not allowed to sit close enough to hold his hand. Ms Storr said these practices were “absolutely outrageous and wrong from an infection prevention point of view”. Read full story Source: Nursing Times, 16 October 2020
  5. News Article
    Sweeping bans on visiting at thousands of care homes risk residents dying prematurely this winter as they give up hope in the absence of loved ones, experts in elderly care have warned. More than 2,700 care homes in England are either already shut or will be told to do so imminently by local public health officials, according to a Guardian analysis of new government rules announced to protect the most vulnerable from COVID-19. Care groups are calling for the government to make limited visiting possible, including by designating selected family members as key workers. Since Friday any care homes in local authority areas named by Public Health England for wider anti-Covid interventions must immediately move to stop visiting, except in exceptional circumstances such as end of life. It also halts visits to windows and gardens and follows seven months of restrictions in many care homes that closed their doors to routine visits in March. The blanket bans will result in the “raw reality of residents going downhill fast, giving up hope and ultimately dying sooner than would otherwise be the case”, warned the charity Age UK and the National Care Forum (NCF), which represents charitable care providers. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 23 September 2020
  6. News Article
    To help stop the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the majority of hospitals have stopped or severely restricted visits. This article explains how you can still help a loved one even when you can't see them face to face. During the coronavirus crisis, most hospitals and care homes in the UK have stopped visits. If you have a loved one in a healthcare setting, not being able to go to see them will be incredibly difficult. But these temporary measures have not been taken lightly. Restricting visits to hospitals and care homes is important to reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 as much as possible. This way hospital and care home residents, and healthcare staff, can be better protected during the pandemic. Read the full article here
  7. Content Article
    What will I learn? What is telehealth? How could telehealth help me? What is telecare? How could telecare help me? How to get telecare products and services What do I need to consider when buying telecare products? What should I do next?
  8. Content Article
    Based on the author, Bonnie Friedman's own experiences, Hospital Warrior lays out in direct, simple terms hard-learned and time-tested tactics to help ensure a loved one's medical needs are met. Hospital Warrior also includes checklists and interviews with doctors and other healthcare professionals who provide essential tips and advice for the reader. Bonnie Friedman is passionate about hospital healthcare. Her expertise is hard-won, based on more than 24 years of advocating for her husband through 14 separate hospitalisations – some fairly routine, some quite dramatic and some truly life-and-death experiences.
  9. Content Article
    Mandy Odell, Nurse Consultant, Critical Care, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, Reading, has implemented this initiative in her hospital and beyond. Five years following the introduction of a whole-hospital, 24-hour critical care outreach (CCO) service, an additional service was introduced that enabled patients and their families to directly call the CCO team if they had concerns that were not being acknowledged by the patient’s clinical team. The aim of this review, published in the Journal of Nursing, was to report on 7 years of patient and family referrals using quantitative and free text data extracted from the CCO referral database.
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