Harlow care home bans visitors due to coronavirus pandemic

Covid-19 / Sat 14th Mar 2020 am31 04:42am

Statement by Runwood Homes, owner of Alexandra House, next to Princess Alexandra Hospital

“AS we are all aware, the Coronavirus advice is ever changing and, as an organisation, we have taken the position to temporarily suspend visitors entering our homes.

This is a very temporary measure and will be reviewed daily, with further updates provided as soon as any changes occur.

Those residents receiving end of life care will be afforded open ended visiting in their own rooms.

The following restrictions are in place to protect residents and staff from contracting Coronavirus. The notice below is displayed in all entrance areas.

At least 100 care homes have banned all relatives from seeing their elderly residents despite government advice allowing healthy people to visit.

The government has not taken drastic measures leading to fears vulnerable people could catch the virus.

Bupa, which runs 125 care homes, advised on Friday that no visits should be carried out except in exceptional circumstances.

At least 100 care homes have banned all relatives from seeing their elderly residents despite government advice allowing healthy people to visit

A spokesperson for the healthcare provider told The Guardian: ‘We are continuing to keep our residents, relatives and staff safe and well, so are taking additional measures by minimising visits to our care homes.’

The Government said no one who has experienced potential symptoms of covid-19 should visit care homes, and also stressed the importance of good hand washing for visitors.

But it stopped short of banning visits meaning society’s most vulnerable people could be at greater risk.

The Government’s review recommended care homes to consider the wellbeing of residents who would react positively to seeing friends and family during such a period of anxiety.

Judy Downey, chair of the Relatives and Residents Association, revealed she was worried about elderly people not being able to see their loved ones and the impact it may have.

‘We have tin-pot dictators telling people that they can’t visit their parents and partners based on something they have half-heard.

Boris Johnson said relatives can visit elderly residents in care homes as long as they haven’t exhibited symptoms of the virus

‘If you had the choice, at the end of your life, between not seeing your children or dying more quickly, which would you choose? I’d choose the latter.’

Despite Johnson’s advice, four major chains called a halt to routine visits and another asked families to consider staying away.

Professor Martin Green, chief of the Care England homes’ umbrella organisation, said of visitor restrictions: ‘Some care providers have introduced this as a precaution but we need very clear guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England as to what the position is. We have been asking for this repeatedly.’

Caroline Abrahams, director of the Age UK charity, said: ‘We know the pressure that care staff are under at the best of times and they will be fully aware of the risks to residents and visitors in light of coronavirus.It is vital that some of the money announced in the budget to tackle the virus reaches the care sector urgently to ensure that older people receive the care they need.

‘If you are worried about visiting a friend or relative in a care home – call first to check that it is OK to visit; ensure you are symptom free and follow all advice. If you can’t visit ask the care home if they can arrange a Skype call or face time, a door drop, phone call or alternatively send a card or letter.’

She added: ‘The official advice at the moment shows that if people are feeling well, showing no signs of symptoms, and have no reason to think they have been in contact with the virus, then they can carry on with their usual activities. But it is important for everyone to be completely vigilant about following the Government’s advice as it updated.’

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