Care homes and their plight as visits resume – The Yorkshire Post says

THE poignancy was heartfelt – and, at times, harrowing and heartbreaking – as the first Yorkshire care homes opened their doors so residents could be reunited with loved ones for the first times in many months.

Just being able to hold hands means just as much to some families as yesterday’s largely successful reopening of schools as the national ‘route map’ out of lockdown enters its next phase.

That this is now possible is thanks to the measures put in place by managers at individual care homes – and the new rules in place to need to be followed.

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Equally it is important to respect those residences which, for whatever reason, are not comfortable with allowing designated visitors at this point in time.

Mary Cook (left), 90, receives her first visit in three months from her daughter, Fiona Scott, at Queen's House in Kelso, in the Scottish Borders, as visiting resumes in care homes.

Public health must come first in a sector overlooked by the Government on far too many occasions for the country’s good.

Contrary to what Health Secretary Matt Hancock and others contend, Ministers did not throw a ‘protective ring’ around care homes at the outset of the pandemic – hence why the Covid death toll in this sector alone now stands in excess of 30,000.

And now there is Mr Hancock’s own admission, made at last Friday’s Downing Street press conference, that the Government does not now intend to bring forward social care reforms until later “this year”.

This needs to be set in the context of what Boris Johnson said on the steps of 10 Downing Street in July 2019 on the day that he became Prime Minister: “We will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared.” Where is that “clear plan”? The PM’s full explanation is awaited.

Designated visitors can now visit care homes.

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