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Scottish care homes criticised for not following visiting guidelines

Care homes in Scotland have been criticised in the Scottish parliament for not following official advice on visiting.

Guidance on care home visits issued on 24 February 2021 recommends that care homes put in place the necessary arrangements to support safe, meaningful contact for up to two designated visitors per resident, twice a week.

However, evidence presented by Care Home Relatives Scotland dated 15 March found that around two in five (41.5 per cent) of Scottish care homes surveyed had not implemented the advice.

Scotland’s chief clinicians have reassured care homes that with the multiple levels of safeguards and protections in place, safe, indoor visiting can resume. Scottish politicians have been advised: “Everyone living in adult care homes, no matter their age, health, or otherwise, can have meaningful contact with their families and loved ones.”

Gail Ross (SNP, Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) said: “I can see why care homes are quite risk averse, given what has happened in the past. None of us wants a return to those horrible dark days. However, there is the other side to the picture…  about the mental health and wellbeing of not just the people in the homes but the families who are unable to see them.”

Deputy Leader of Scottish Labour Jackie Baillie added: “The difference between the guidance and the reality in many areas across Scotland is stark. Relatives are at a loss to understand when, in practice, they will be able to see their loved ones.”

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