Re-uniting in care homes: SCIE statement

22 July 2020

A ‘single constant visitor’ can start to be reunited with people living in care homes in England, according to new Government guidance. Chief Executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence, Kathryn Smith, says:

It is extremely welcome that we now have this guidance to enable people living in care homes to begin real social contact with their family and friends again. There was a time not so long ago when we weren’t sure when this day would be possible. We’ve heard terrible stories of how families have been torn apart by COVID-19, either through lack of time spent together, or when family members have missed funerals because of lockdown. My own family knows how challenging it was to attend my Aunt’s funeral online. Clearly there will have to be safeguards in place, which will depend on the specific care home and issues within the local area. We have to feel confident that this re-uniting goes well, and that safeguards are in place to prevent further spread of the virus within care homes.

SCIE's Kathryn Smith continues:

Of course, care and support isn’t just about care homes, even though they play a vital role and have been much in the public eye. The same, organised, easing of lockdown must happen for people who receive care at home, children and families who might have been isolated since March, and with community organisations - so that people can access the facilities that support them to live independent and fulfilling lives.

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