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Care home advice “completely misses the point”, say the Alzheimer’s Society

Published On:

10 November 2020

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Leading charities have criticised the government over their guidance on safe visits in care homes.

The government updated their advice on visiting policies, insisting care homes will be “encouraged and supported to provide safe visiting opportunities.”

Some of the suggestions include floor-to-ceiling screens, designated visitor pods and window visits.

Critics of this new guidance labelled them impractical and the Alzheimer’s Society said it “completely misses the point.”

Care minister Helen Whately said the new measures would mean people can see loved ones “in a safe way.”

In the first national lockdown that began in Spring, all face-to-face visits in care homes were banned.

This new government guidance comes as areas in England face strict local restrictions and the country prepares for a new national lockdown.

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 speaking through phones were “frankly ridiculous when you consider someone with advanced dementia can often be bed-bound and struggling to speak”.

Those opposing the government’s advice, suggest new protocols in care homes should include more rigorous and regular testing for visitors.

Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Northamptonshire are piloting weekly testing of professionals who regularly visit care homes, to be rolled out into a new national programme in the coming weeks.

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