Parliament to debate a new legal right to end isolation in health and care
MPs from across the political spectrum will debate the creation of a new legal right to ensure people can maintain contact with their family across health and care settings. The debate will coincide with the publication of new data showing the harmful impact isolation from family continues to have.
The backbench business debate will take place on Thursday 27 October in the House of Commons. It is the next step in a campaign by a coalition of MPs to say ‘never again’ should the vital support of relatives and friends be denied in health and care settings. They are calling for a right to a Care Supporter to be enshrined in law, in response to the severe, detrimental impact isolation from family and friends has caused throughout the pandemic. The call has been coordinated by campaign groups Rights for Residents and John’s Campaign, and the charity the Relatives & Residents Association.
Our survey of over 650 families highlights how the harm of isolation continues to this day. The data shows COVID outbreaks are still rampant in care homes, resulting in harsh visiting restrictions, beyond what is required by Government guidance:
The backbench business debate has been secured by four MPs: Labour MP Dan Carden, Conservative MP Tracey Crouch, Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper, and Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader Liz Saville Roberts.
Diane Mayhew, Co-founder of Rights for Residents, commented:
“Our survey underlines the urgent need for the rights of residents, young and old, to be legally upheld. We must ensure those in care homes and hospitals have a legal right to at least one essential Care Supporter that can visit them in any circumstances. Families have been forced to stand aside and witness the devastating effects that isolation has had on their vulnerable loved ones throughout the pandemic. On being forcibly separated from their closest family members many simply gave up the will to live. Families are not just visitors, they are the eyes, ears and voices of those that can’t be heard, and they provide an element of care that cannot be replicated by paid carers, no matter how wonderful they are.”