Lib Dems stress fresh plan needed for compassionate care home visits

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today called on the Scottish Government to deliver a fresh plan to enable “compassionate” care home visits in the face of horrifying accounts from families.

The warnings were collected by campaign group Care Home Relatives Scotland and passed to Mr Rennie. A survey undertaken by the group warns: 

  • Less than one in ten respondents think visiting arrangements have improved since new guidance was issued by the Scottish Government on 12th October; 
  • Only 1 in 4 respondents feel that they are kept up to date with their loved one’s health. 

Accounts submitted to the survey include residents with no glasses or hearing aids available since July, six week waits for medication, a lack of access to GPs and a failure to access specialists for conditions such as leukaemia. 

Willie Rennie said: 

“When we look back at the impact of this pandemic there will be no more tragic tale than that of care homes. 

“People are witnessing their loved ones experiencing weight loss, depression, worsening dementia and mobility issues as a result of being confined to their care homes. For many the rare visits that are taking place are through windows or at a distance, depriving them of the chance to touch and comfort. The visiting improvements promised by the Health Secretary haven't materialised in countless homes.

“Care home staff are doing their best to allow precious family time but they’re hamstrung by the continuing failure to provide what is really needed: regular testing for the families of care home residents. 

“People are deteriorating fast. This can't wait.

“I am asking the Scottish Government to come up with a compassionate solution to enable regular indoor visits and urgent reform of the designated visitor rules to allow people to spend time safely with those closest to them.” 

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