Charity launches legal challenge to restrictions on care home visits

A dementia charity is seeking a judicial review of visiting restrictions set out in the government guidance in care homes.  Visiting restrictions were put in place earlier this year at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic following official guidance to try and limit the spread of the virus amongst vulnerable residents.  However John’s Campaign, which fights for people with dementia to be supported by their family carers, says that in person visits by family members are crucial for these residents. 

Many care homes have used video calling technology over the last few months to make sure residents can keep in touch with their family.  However the challenge launched by the charity highlights how video calls are no substitute for elderly residents and may cause further confusion, and that a lack of personal visits by loved ones can contribute to some residents suffering a decline to their dementia. 

This legal challenge highlights the fact that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the care industry is not just limited solely to contracting the virus, but also to the numerous indirect consequences arising from the restrictions required.  As well as visits from family being restricted, visits from healthcare professionals have also been restricted. The impact of this remains to be seen but it is likely to have caused or contributed to a deterioration of a residents condition. 

How this will be reflected in any complaints and/or claims still remains to be seen.

Further details of the legal challenge can be found here.

Jennifer Johnston, Associate, BLM

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