Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to issue new guidance on friends and relatives visiting care home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what steps they are taking to enable such visits to take place safely.
The Department’s COVID-19: Our Action Plan for Adult Social Care outlines the importance of restricting visitors to care homes at this time to reduce the risk of infection for care home residents and staff. A copy of COVID-19: Our Action Plan for Adult Social Care is attached.
It is recognised that this restriction in visitors may cause anxiety for both residents and their relatives. Existing guidance encourages that alternatives to in-person visiting are explored such as telephones or video calling. It is important that relatives can visit their loved one if they are dying, or if the relatives’ bereavement is likely to be worse, with a higher risk of psychological and physical morbidity. The Adult Social Care Action Plan acknowledges this exception.