The challenges over the running of our care homes continues. Still to this day family members are being prevented from going to visit their loved ones despite government having months and months to find a way to allow this to happen safely.
I along with Labour colleagues have been calling for weekly testing of one family member to enable them to safely visit care homes. The reason this is so important is that I don’t believe family members are ‘visitors’ to care homes, I think they’re the most important carers of all.
Contact with the people you love the most is so incredibly important to older people, particularly those living with dementia or other illness. It just feels cruel to me that government haven’t found a way forward.
Ministers have said that people can visit as long as care homes fix a perspex wall between visitors and residents. Why not testing? Well it’s obvious isn’t it – for all the talk and bluster from government there still isn’t a strong enough testing regime to allow this to happen and the result is really heartache for thousands of people.
So many of the challenges we face as a country during the pandemic have its roots in a shoddy testing and tracing regime. Why did the virus spread so fast among university students? Why are so many teachers off work self-isolating? Why did so many towns across the the midlands and north spend months in local lockdowns? And worst of all, why did our entire country slide into the need for a full lockdown again? The root answer to all these questions is that government failed to get enough tests to where they were most needed at the right time and then get the results back quick enough to make a difference and follow it up with a contact and tracing operation.
This Morning with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have kindly had me on several times to talk about this and every time I’m really grateful because it’s a great way to show people who are affected by what’s happening in care homes that there are people out here who get it and are sticking up for them.
Please post a comment if you’ve had an experience with family visits to care homes, I’m really keen to learn from you. I’m in constant touch with many care home managers and each one is an angel and hero in my eyes.