Yesterday I joined Rights for Residents at their virtual petition hand-in on Parliament Square. I spoke to campaigners about their experiences of being unable to visit their loved ones in care homes, and how it has impacted on their lives. Rights for Residents have been campaigning tirelessly for the rights of people living in care homes. They have now reached almost a quarter of a million signatures on their petition.
It has been over fourteen months since care homes closed their doors to visitors. This has not only caused them terrible anguish, but harmed the physical and mental health of care home residents too. Even though government guidance now allows care home residents to receive up to two visitors, some care homes are yet to implement this.
Alongside campaign groups including Rights for Residents, Labour are supporting the rights of care home residents to see family to be enshrined in law, and know that family members are not ‘just’ visitors – they provide essential care.
Rights for Residents are calling for the Government to:
- Pass emergency legislation that enshrines the right of an Essential Care Giver in law to provide emotional and well being support, regardless of outbreaks, tier restrictions, lockdowns or future variants.
- Mandate the Care Home Visiting Guidance with clear penalties for those that refuse to follow it.
- Remove the unnecessary 28 day quarantine period for care home residents following an outbreak – in line with the ten day requirement for the rest of the population.