Care home residents are being ‘falsely imprisoned’ as the rest of Britain regains freedom, campaigners warn.
Government guidance states that residents must be locked alone in their rooms for two weeks after an overnight stay in hospital.
This means elderly patients are ‘punished for seeking medical treatment’, with some refusing to attend vital hospital check-ups to avoid isolation.
People in care who spend a night in an NHS hospital must quarantine for longer than a traveller flying back from a red-list country.
Campaigners say it is ‘discriminatory and unlawful’ to treat care home residents differently to every other member of society.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
In one case, a 99-year-old woman lost the ability to move after being shut away for six separate 14-day isolation periods.
Government guidelines also state visitors should be banned for two weeks if any staff or residents test positive for Covid
Meanwhile, draconian visiting restrictions mean many of the UK’s 400,000 care home residents are still struggling to see loved ones.
Since ‘Freedom Day’ on Monday, residents have been allowed unlimited visitors as long as they test negative and wear PPE.
But infection-control procedures mean the best most families can hope for is a pre-booked 30-minute visit once a week. Some have the time measured by an egg-timer.
Government guidelines also state visitors should be banned for two weeks if any staff or residents test positive for Covid.
With cases rising, growing numbers of homes are once again shutting their doors.
Diane Mayhew, from Rights For Residents, said: ‘There has been no “Freedom Day” for the thousands of care home residents who remain incarcerated in their rooms.
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Tom Wilkinson with his daughter Judy Bass
Tom Wilkinson has spent months looking forward to celebrating his 100th birthday with his family.
But he now faces the prospect of spending it alone.
Mr Wilkinson, 99, has dementia and has lived in a care home in Harrogate for nearly two years.
Before lockdown, his daughter Judy Bass would pop in every day to see him. But during the first year of the pandemic, she saw him just twice.
When the care home finally reopened to visitors in March, Mrs Bass could see her father once a week but only if she pre-booked an appointment.