Commenting on the latest care home guidance Andrew Jones MP said:
“Some of the saddest cases to reach my constituency office over the last 12 months have concerned those living in Care Homes through this pandemic. The measures put in place to protect our most vulnerable have had significant consequences for both residents and their families.
“I raised this issue in Parliament in September, I have challenged North Yorkshire County Council and Care Home Groups – I even raised specific cases with Directors of Public Health across the country. Families far and wide with loved ones in the constituency also contacted me. It was an extremely difficult time for them all. A task group was set up to bring together care home residents and their families, care providers and NYCC to create a set of practices to govern visits in and out of care homes. This successful work resulted in the Keeping in Touch arrangements that have been in place for six months.
“Thankfully, due to the success of our vaccination programme, Care Home residents and their families have been steadily reunited. Slow but positive improvements have been made and every care home resident can now receive two nominated visitors and are thankfully now permitted to hold hands.
“However, the same cannot be said for visits out, something that particularly impacts on younger care home residents. New guidance says that when they leave their homes for any reason, as they often do to exercise in the fresh air, they must self-isolate for fourteen days thereafter. This is said to be necessary to keep other residents safe. Whilst I support the government’s motive, this is undoubtedly too restrictive and not in the best interests of the health and wellbeing of our care home residents. I have written to the Minister for Care, Helen Whately MP, to ask for the guidance to be reassessed and reconsidered and I hope this will be acted upon quickly.”