The Relatives & Residents Association (R&RA) is calling for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to monitor care homes’ compliance with new Government visiting guidance. This forms part of the charity’s six point plan on the change needed to end isolation in care.
R&RA’s six point plan sets out the charity's desired changes to the visiting guidance, based on insights gathered from its helpline:
- Essential caregivers to help protect residents' wellbeing.
- Access to two designated visitors, in private.
- Embed end of life as final year of life.
- End blanket approaches to managing outbreaks.
- Make sure it happens – CQC to monitor compliance.
- Publish a strategy to end isolation for all.
The new guidance will give effect to the Prime Minister’s promise to reopen care homes, as outlined in his roadmap easing lockdown restrictions. With the guidance remaining advisory, rather than set out in law, it is vital that the regulator ensures compliance, R&RA states.
R&RA has been campaigning to End Isolation In Care since September. In a meeting with CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, R&RA urged the regulator to be far more rigorous in helping to end the isolation, citing CQC's purpose to improve standards and protect and safeguard vulnerable adults receiving care.
Helen Wildbore, Director of the Relatives & Residents Association, said, 'Following the Prime Minister’s promise to older people in care that they will be reunited with their families, he must now ensure this becomes a reality. If the plan to reopen care homes is not to be made law, new guidance on visiting must build in a system to monitor compliance, to ensure change happens on the ground.
'It is unacceptable that relatives and friends have had to step in to fill the gap and chase homes for compliance. CQC must now take a proactive role in monitoring care homes’ implementation of the visiting guidance. They must ensure all care homes see facilitating visiting as intrinsic to delivering good care and treating people with dignity.
'Callers to the R&RA helpline see the devastating impact lack of contact has had on their relatives and feel let down by the systems designed to protect their rights. The CQC must now act to stop the human rights crisis unfolding in care.'
More information about R&RA's campaign to End Isolation in Care, including its six point plan, can be found on the charity's website.