Updated 18 June:
Our campaign to End Isolation In Care has made some significant progress. The two week quarantine after visits outside of care homes has been partly dropped, following our calls alongside other organisations. We will continue to push for this to be fully dropped.
Guidance on visits inside care homes grants access to essential caregivers, following our letter to the Prime Minister about this, in coalition with five other organisations. Whilst we continue to push for an end to isolation, these are welcome steps.
Following R&RA’s evidence to Parliament, the Joint Committee on Human Rights wrote to Matt Hancock asking him to pass a new law on visiting. The Government decided not to take this forward and we remain concerned that families will continue to face barriers without mandatory visiting rules, or monitoring of compliance by the regulator.
Care homes should now allow:
In the event of an outbreak, visits should continue from essential caregivers (except where they or the resident have tested positive) and in exceptional circumstances. Window/pod visits can also continue in an outbreak.
If care homes are not complying with the guidance by allowing these different types of visits, send them our guide for care providers Visiting and the law (soon to be updated). You can also use our updated summary of the guidance and law to remind them of their legal duties.
Whilst we welcome changes to the Government guidance dropping the two week quarantine after some visits outside of care homes, we are concerned this doesn’t go far enough. We are calling for the quarantine to be dropped for all visits out, including overnight stays in hospital.
Blanket approaches on visiting are unacceptable. Policies and decisions about visiting must be based on the needs and circumstances of the individual person. This is made clear in the visiting guidance and has been stressed by the regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Individual assessments are required by law under the Equality Act and Human Rights Act, as well by the CQC’s expectation of person-centred care. If your care home is applying blanket rules and not carrying out individual assessments, get in touch with our helpline for support with this.
If you would like further information or advice on visiting restrictions, please get in touch with the R&RA Helpline. We can help you to explore what the current guidance means for you and your family, and support you to use the guidance and law to negotiate with a care home for better contact.