Around 410,000 people over 65, mainly women, are care home residents. That figure is bound to be less following the horrific number of COVID deaths in care homes — thought to be a third of all COVID deaths. There have also been reports of non-COVID deaths of care home residents where older women were refused an ambulance to go to hospital. We have heard that around 40,000 disabled people under pension age live in care homes, of which around 23,000 are people with learning disabilities, although reliable statistics are not easy to find.
We support the Rights for Residents petition “Please let me hug my family before it’s too late!” for care home residents to have the visits we need, and for relatives and friends to be recognised as essential key workers — to get the COVID testing and personal protective equipment to enable visits.
The official guidance on care home visits is here
Women in John’s Campaign and others have been challenging the refusal of visits, including being able to take people out for a trip. They say that under the Equality Act, Human Rights Act and Care Act, there should not be a blanket ban on visits, instead each resident’s individual needs and how long they have gone without contact, should be considered. Relatives say that care home owners are giving the excuse that they can’t do anything until the government gives them insurance against anything bad happening as a consequences of visits.
Visit the Rights for Residents website here to find out how to get involved in the campaign.
HealthWatch letter to the government