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Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, has expressed immense frustration over the delay in Visitor Guidance.

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:

“We are at a loss to know why the Department of Health and Social Care is incapable of making swift decisions at a time of crisis. As the country unlocks, care providers are in the dark as to what is permissible in terms of visitors to their residents, or indeed residents leaving their homes on visits. This should have been a priority for the DHSC given that care homes are central to fighting this dreadful pandemic”.

Providers are very aware of the role that friends and family play in supporting their loved ones. The primary concern of providers has, and will continue to be, the health and well-being of all the individuals they support and their staff. With that in mind it is important that we find ways of supporting increased contact with families and friends, but that this is approached in a way that is safe, sensible and does not undo all of the efforts of so many care providers to date.

The starting point for decision-making must be safety, transparency and a human rights-based approach. As the rest of the nation unlocks it is not right to keep people with care and support needs locked down indefinitely. Any move towards increased liberty of movement must be accompanied by ongoing person-centred risk assessments and with due regard to the safety of other service users and staff.

Martin Green continues:

“In the absence of Government guidance, on 10 June Care England published its own statement on visitation for learning disability providers. We supported a separate CPA document for providers for older people too. However with new changes to shielding and the wider lifting of lockdown we now need a national framework led by government to support the complex steps to normality for care home residents.”

Notes to editors:

1) Care England is the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care
2) Care England works to ensure that care services are commissioned fairly, efficiently and on a properly funded basis, to meet the true costs of providing quality care. Care England analysis indicates that where known around one in five councils (20%) did not increase their base rates for either residential or nursing home placements in 2018/19, despite rising inflation and increased workforce costs.
3) For Care England press enquiries related to this release, please contact Antonella Corby (020) 7492 4843 or email acorby@careengland.org.uk
4) @CareEngland & @CareEngDigital