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Visiting care homes and other social care settings

In February 2022 much of the UK has started getting back to ‘normal’, but families of care home residents and people in other care homes settings are experiencing very different attitudes and actions about visiting their relatives.

While many families are reportedly delighted to be visiting loved ones again as restrictions ease, others are still finding visiting hampered by Covid-19 rules that still apply.

Individual care homes are caught between protecting their vulnerable residents as much as possible from the virus and trying to allow regular visiting. They are also struggling with a lack of staff that can make visiting more complicated.

We thought it might be useful to put together here the guidance currently in place in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, together with links to further information that is intended to answer your questions about visiting to care homes, including essential caregivers. We hope it helps.

UK government advice for England

Guidance for Scotland

Guidance for Wales

Publications for Northern Ireland

About essential caregivers

Essential caregivers have been introduced to enable one person to come into a care home regularly to provide care services to a family member. Many care homes offer information about this role on their websites, and you may find the following helpful if you would like to take this route.

  • Essential caregiver – FAQs from the Relatives and Residents Association
  • Care home visiting – coronavirus guidance from AgeUK

The future

There is an amendment proposed by Lord Hunt in the House of Lords to the Health and Care bill that urges a statutory duty of care towards families. The amendment is designed to protect the rights of families against the fear of visiting bans or even evictions of their relatives from a home if they complain about care.

Photo by Oleg Ivanov on Unsplash

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