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Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Call for relatives to be allowed to visit care homes by Christmas

With family members in England allowed to visit relatives in care homes if they test negative, North Wales MS Mark Isherwood (pictured) has called for the same programme to be rolled out in Wales in time for Christmas.

Mr Isherwood raised the matter in the Welsh Parliament after being contacted by families who are desperate to see loved ones in care homes over the festive period.

He said: On 23 November, the Welsh Government announced a pilot programme for supporting visitors to care homes in Wales, and I call for a Welsh Government statement on provision for families to visit loved ones in care homes this Christmas.

“The Welsh Government statement then said you were offering testing to care home visitors across a small number of care homes, intended to pave the way for a wider roll-out to more Welsh care homes starting on 14 December. 

"Last week, the UK Government announced that care home residents in England will receive indoor visits from family and friends this Christmas if they test negative for COVID-19, unless there is an outbreak in the care home, with over one million rapid Lateral Flow Tests sent to homes as the first phase of an English national roll-out to enable visiting by Christmas. 

“As a constituent then e-mailed, and I'll quote them: 'Testing of relatives in England, and more and more people going into the care homes and holding their loved ones is beautiful, but what about Wales? Why are we always last in the queue? For God's sake, just roll it out and let the Welsh residents be granted the same lifeline as England’.

“I call for a statement and update accordingly.”

In her response, the Trefnydd, Rebecca Evans MS, said they are working to strike the balance of keeping residents in care homes safe from Covid, but also recognising that they have important well-being and mental health needs as well.

Mr Isherwood added: “As my constituent also stated, ‘We are once again let down by the Welsh Government, it's no good saying they are starting pilot testing. I am heartbroken that we are getting  nowhere, please speak for us in Wales , this situation  is disgusting and so, so unfair’.”

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