Laura Sharman 05 November 2020

Sector calls for ‘meaningful’ guidance on care home visits

The care sector has called on the Government to provide detailed guidance on how care homes can offer COVID-secure visits during lockdown.

Yesterday, the Government said care homes would be encouraged to allow safe visiting opportunities for families.

The guidance will set out clear principles for how visits are conducted and reiterate the importance of ensuring social distancing and proper PPE use.

However the National Care Forum (NCF) said it was ‘very concerned’ about the lack of meaningful guidance on this subject.

’We call on the Government to urgently clarify what these arrangements mean in practice, and as a bare minimum to provide homes with additional financial support to rapidly put the necessary measures in place so that visiting can be a reality for all in care homes during this period,’ said Vic Rayner, executive director of the NCF.

’Homes have been provided with less than 12 hours’ notice of the intention for them to be open for visitors, many in areas of the countries where directors of public health have prevented visits happening for many months. In order for this to be a reality, the guidance needs to be practicable, supportive, resourced and facilitate meaningful visits that relatives and residents can gain from, and that care homes can provide.’

Health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock, said: 'Care homes should feel empowered by this new guidance to look at safe options to allow visits to care homes that suit their residents and facilities. We’ve seen some really innovative solutions used to help families see each other safely, face-to-face, which has been life-changing for some. '

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