Claire Marsh, Patient Experience Lead at the Improvement Academy, in a personal blog, shares and explains petition to demand that care home residents’ freedoms are not forgotten as the pandemic lingers on.
Sign the petition here.
It’s true. There is currently still no plan to manage risk of Covid in care homes without severely taking away any rights to normal family and community life.
Many many residents are still severely restricted from having regular visits from even their closest family and loved ones. That’s more than 18 months since restrictions started. A long time for anyone. An especially long time for vulnerable people who often rely on others to comprehend and feel safe in the World.
And for the remainder of homes where people are allowed more contact, this too is severely threatened during Covid outbreaks (2 or more cases in a home), of which there is a never-ending stream that shows no sign of stopping. In the event of outbreak, residents are often confined to their room for weeks or more on end, family visits are restricted to 1 member if you’re lucky, and no resident can leave the premises.
This matters hugely because contrary to what people may think, care home residents have lives and loves just like the rest of us, or at least they did. Many used to have regular visitors – family, friends, church representatives, befrienders. Many used to go out – to the shops, to friends, for walks, to worship, to sing in choirs, to visit family, to visit the seaside! Normal things that we all take for granted. For many, these rights have been completely removed and there is no apparent plan to re-instate them.
For those of us on the outside with loved ones in care homes, this situation is torturous to watch. For those inside, the situation is often baffling at best, and highly stressful, lonely, and soul destroying at worst.
Since the start of the pandemic the system has just kept failing these people through a combination of fearful home managers, risk averse public health bodies and a lack of enforcement of human rights expectations by our government and regulators.
On 16th September Rights for Residents will take a petition to Downing Street to:
- Pass legislation (Gloria’s law) that gives every care home resident the legal right to nominate an Essential Care Giver / Visitor that can visit in ALL circumstances, regardless of outbreaks, tier restrictions, lockdowns or variants.
- Produce official care home visiting guidance that brings those living in care settings in line with the rest of society who are no longer subject to ANY Covid restrictions.
- Mandate the Government visiting guidance to care homes and introduce clear penalties for those that refuse to implement them.
I bet you thought all this was already in place.
For residents and for families who continue to weep for their loved ones trapped inside of care homes, and for those families who have lost someone whilst being denied proper contact with them in their final days, weeks, months, this campaign is a beacon of hope. I really don’t know how many of us would have coped without it.