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Care Homes: Visits

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 85002, tabled on 4 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the lack of visits for people in care homes due to covid-19 restrictions on the speed of deterioration of dementia symptoms of care home residents; if he will set out a strategy to enable people affected by dementia to recover from the effects from the covid-19 pandemic to include (a)rehabilitation to counteract effects on cognitive or physical functioning, (b) support for mental and physical health and (c) speech and language therapy; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

29 September 2020

We recognise how important it is to allow care home residents to safely meet their loved ones, especially for those at the end of their lives. We appreciate the particular challenges visiting restrictions pose for people with dementia, amongst others, as well as for their loved ones.

We published visiting guidance on 22 July 2020, which outlined how providers, based on the views of their local Director of Public Health, could take a dynamic risk-based approach to visiting. In the Adult Social Care Winter Plan published on 18 September, we set out tightened infection prevention and control measures to enable visits to continue safely. Our July guidance will shortly be updated to reflect the changes announced in the Adult Social Care Winter Plan which is available at the following link:

NHS England and NHS Improvement have made guidance and resources available to address the rehabilitation needs of people living with dementia. This includes:

- ‘Your COVID Recovery’. This is an online platform which is freely available for people recovering from the long-term effects of COVID-19. The platform is available from the following link:

- ‘Aftercare needs of inpatients recovering from COVID-19’ guidance to support primary care and community health services to meet the immediate and longer-term care needs of patients discharged following an acute episode of COVID-19, including embedding specific considerations for people living with dementia, and signalling resources for support such as neuro-rehabilitation, and speech and language therapy. The guidance is available from the following link:

We are also working closely with our system partners, stakeholders, local authorities and the care sector to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on people with dementia and to identify what additional actions may be required to ensure their safety and access to the right support and care.