'Care homes aren't following guidance': Caller explains why visitors are being refused

5 May 2021, 11:26

By Tim Dodd

Care home guidance is "advisory not mandatory" and "not being followed", Rights for Residents co-founder Diane Mayhew tells Nick Ferrari, listing the reasons given to visitors.

It comes as some care homes are refusing to allow in-person interaction between families and residents due to factors such as staffing shortages and insurance.

Diane started by telling Nick: "It's a huge problem. The current guidance states that you can have two nominated indoor visitors, and an additional essential caregiver."

Quoting from the guidance, she continued: "[This] can be nominated when the presence of someone with a unique personal relationship to the resident is critical in providing emotional and mental support.

"The problem is Nick, the guidance is advisory not mandatory, and it's not being followed."

"Why? Why are some care homes not allowing residents to go for a walk in the garden?" Nick interjected.

Diane responded: "Some are, and some aren't. We're hearing all kinds of different reasons. Firstly they're saying it's insurance, which we're at a loss [with] now, because if it's in the government guidance and they're following the guidance and infection control measures then they can't be sued if Covid enters the building.

READ MORE: 'Visiting my dying father in a care home was described to me as a favour'

"The other thing is, they're saying that they just don't have the facilities or resources. But if they allow this essential caregiver as stated in the guidance, then they can help!

"Myself and my partner have this status and we feed mum, we help her to take her fluids, we do her nails, we do her hair, and while we're doing that Nick, that carer is freed up to look after someone else."

Another reason given to Diane has been that care homes need to "protect all the other residents."

Challenging this, Diane listed the measures she takes to visit her mother: "We've had the vaccine, mum's had the double vaccine, we take a PCR test, we take a rapid flow test, we wear PPE, and we go directly into her room only."

READ MORE: 'My grandmother has to self-isolate in a care home for two weeks for visiting the dentist'