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We must help reunite those in care with their loved ones

November 13, 2020 11:28 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

The separation of care home residents and their loved ones has left families devastated. Worse still, the health of those in care has worryingly deteriorated due to a lack of contact.

Too many people have already lost family members as a direct result of lack of contact.

Eight months into the pandemic, and the Government's so-called "new" guidance simply allows a continuation of visiting from outside or behind a screen and will continue to separate families and abandon those in need.

With another lockdown underway, there should be no further delay with lifting the cruel restrictions and rolling out testing to relatives so they can care for their loved ones.

We must keep people safe and well, but for those in care that reality will only happen when they can be safely reunited with their families.

The Government must act now to ensure carers can support their relatives in residential care homes safely.

Liberal Democrats have brought together almost 40 MPs across the political spectrum to set out a series of demands to the Government, including:

  • Granting a designated family member or friend the status of 'Key Worker' and providing them with regular testing so they can meet the essential needs of residents
  • Allowing these designated family and friends to resume regular indoor visits, ending the unfair restriction that limits visits to the same nominated family member and ending the 30 minute time-limit on visits
  • Supporting care home providers and managers with public liability indemnity. This would ensure that providers are protected against the risk of being sued if Covid is introduced into a home by a designated visitor as has been done for the NHS.

These calls have the support of various patient groups such as the Rights for Residents Campaign.

Time is critical in this situation. Too many people have already lost family members as a direct result of lack of contact and many of those in care homes with dementia will no longer know who their family are.

The Government must act now to ensure carers can support their relatives in residential care homes safely.