Dementia Organisations have come together to speak as One Dementia Voice on the urgent need for the Government to move forward to enable Care Homes to feel safe in allowing visits to their residents. We want the Government to:
• Grant designated family and friend carers the same Key Worker status as care home members of staff.
• Provide coronavirus testing for family and friend carers
• Recognise the legal obligations to ensure that people’s human rights are recognised, respected, and upheld in all care settings.
If you would like to email or write to your Member of Parliament, we have a suggested format below. If you would like to include your own experience you can put this in the fourth paragraph where it says [INSERT YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO VISIT SOMEONE WITH DEMENTIA IN A CARE HOME HERE].
You can explain your relationship to the person i.e. Mother, Father, Husband, Wife.. or Friend where it says (INSERT RELATIONSHIP)
You could also call your Member of Parliament’s office and arrange an appointment to speak with them.
You can find your local Member of Parliament and their contact information here: members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP
Letter for England
Dear [MP NAME],
I live at [INSERT ADDRESS] in your constituency and I am emailing you to call on the Secretary of State to grant designated family and friend carers the same Key Worker status as care home members of staff. This will allow them access to care homes, with the same coronavirus testing so they can meet the essential needs of their family members with dementia.
Alongside the extraordinary number of deaths in homes, vastly higher for people with dementia than any other group, there has also been much suffering and deterioration in mental and physical health among many of the residents because of the ban on all visitors.
Family carers have reported that the Covid-19 guidance on visiting care homes is not uniform across the UK nations, and providers interpret it differently leaving many feeling exasperated by this lack of consistency. This is particularly acute where they are distant carers, with their relative in another one of the nations. The inconsistency of the guidance and policies across the UK is causing additional confusion and stress.
As a family carer I am an essential member of the residents’ care and support network. I not only provide practical services that contribute directly to my family member’s (INSERT RELATIONSHIP) well-being, but also act as their advocate, voice and memory, keeping them connected to the world.
[INSERT YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO VISIT SOMEONE WITH DEMENTIA IN A CARE HOME HERE]
Under the Coronavirus Act 2020 and associated government guidance, all action taken must comply with the Human Rights Act 1998 and a blanket lockdown in care homes without specific support for enabling family carers to visit could be viewed as a violation of Article 8 ECHR (the right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence). There is also concern that preventing contact between residents with dementia and their family risks causing distress and, potentially, a risk to life which threatens their rights under Article 2 ECHR (the right to life).
All public bodies, including government, local authorities and care home providers, have a legal duty to comply with human rights obligations which, in failing to facilitate forms of contact with family carers, they are failing to do.
I would be grateful if you could urgently write to Matt Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care about granting designated family and friend carers the same Key Worker status as care home members of staff.
You can access details your member of the Senedd
Your letter template in English and Welsh