North Yorkshire County Council and local care providers have offered to take part in a pilot scheme to allow relatives to visit loved ones in homes safely.
Last week, care minister Helen Whately said the government was planning to launch a trial programme shortly where relatives of care home residents will be treated as ‘key workers’ with access to PPE and testing.
‘Visiting is incredibly important for residents and their families in care homes. I want us to enable visiting, but it must be safe,’ the minister told members of the health and social care select committee.
The chair of the Independent Care Group, Mike Padgham and North Yorkshire County Council’s corporate director of health and adult services, Richard Webb have now written to health secretary Matt Hancock, offering to take part in any scheme.
‘The lockdown of care and nursing homes has been vital to protect residents and staff,’ the letter states.
‘However, it has taken a toll on those residents, particularly those with dementia, whose mental health and happiness has suffered as a result.
‘The lockdown has also been distressing for their relatives, as in some cases it has been some months since they had visited in person,’ the letter adds.
‘We very much welcome the pilot and hope it is carried out quickly so that, we can speedily roll out the system to all care and nursing homes across the country.
‘In the second wave of Covid-19, care and nursing homes will once again be on the front line in the fight against the pandemic and we will welcome all the support the government can give us.
‘If we can be of help to you as part of the government tackling coronavirus, we should be only too pleased to assist.’
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