SNP savaged for ‘barbaric’ impact of draconian Covid rules on care homes ‘Just left alone’

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Alison Leitch from Care Home Residents Scotland spoke out about the impact of the current seven-day isolation period imposed by the SNP Government which has already been cut from 14-days. Ms Leitch has been calling on Nicola Sturgeon to cut isolation for care home residents altogether because of reports of the “barbaric” isolation elderly residents in Scotland are being subjected to. Ms Leitch discussed how many residents spent Christmas Day alone, and some have even now lost the ability to walk due to lack of mobilisation because of the isolation period.

Ms Leitch told STV: “The isolation policy is too damaging, you know, we’re hearing of people being locked in rooms for fourteen days or longer.

“No stimulation, no stimulation, no company, just left alone.

“You know many residents spent Christmas Day in their rooms by themselves.

“And the impact that has, you know cognitive deterioration, mental health being impacted.

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Ms Leitch added: “People are losing their ability to walk because they’re shut in these rooms. It’s just barbaric!”

Just before Christmas Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour’s health and Covid ­recovery spokeswoman, assured residents would see their family during the festive season,

The spokeswoman said: “They were exposed to ­needless risk through failings around ­testing and PPE while being isolated from loved ones for months on end.

“We need to learn from these ­appalling mistakes, and do right by care homes this time around.

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“The SNP must make sure there is guidance and support in place to allow visiting to take place safely so that care home residents can see their families safely this Christmas.”

Humza Yousaf the SNP Health Secretary, said: “The additional protective measures for adult care homes aim to balance the current Covid-19 risk and the need to keep people safe in line with clinical advice provided about the risks of Omicron ­variant of Covid-19 at this time.

“Anyone who visits a hospital or care home should undertake an LFD test ­(lateral flow) before every visit in order to keep patients and residents safe.

“The additional measures in care homes and hospitals are based on the principle that using all protective ­measures, people living in care homes or being treated in hospitals should ­continue to be supported to see and spend time with those important to them.”

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Many care homes around the UK tried to keep their residents happy and social during the lockdowns, with CareUK’s The Potteries care home in Dorset setting up a pub for residents to socialise with each other and enjoy a drink.

There have since been calls for more care homes across the UK to implement the same in-house pubs for residents.

There have been calls for more homes to set up their own in-house boozers. 

A survey conducted by Carehome.co.uk showed that out of 4,000-plus care home staff surveyed over half said socialising in their care home’s pub improved residents’ wellbeing.

A manager from a care home where an onsite bar was added for the elderly, Zita Turner, said: “We couldn’t take everyone to the pub so we thought we’d bring a pub to them.” She added: “Residents love it and we make plenty of use of it by having themed events, quiz nights, and afternoon visits.

“It was a real team spirit in organising and decorating and my team really enjoyed the opening of the pub.

“Seeing the reactions of the residents made it all worthwhile. We had amazing support from a local brewery and an independent pub to make ours as authentic as possible.”

Resident Jim Wakefield, 88, said: “What a wonderful idea and thing to do for us. We residents do love our outings to the pub, it’s like the good old days.”

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