Are care home residents receiving the visits they are entitled to?

Sandie Smith is the CEO of Healthwatch in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Sandie Smith is the CEO of Healthwatch in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. - Credit: HEALTHWATCH

Families in Cambridgeshire are being urged to share their experiences of care homes in the county.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been exceptionally challenging for residents and families, with some separated and deprived of physical contact with one another for over a year.

With this in mind, health and social care champion Healthwatch Cambridgeshire has launched a new survey to hear what local people have to say on all aspects of care home living, including visiting.

And some have told Healthwatch they are not happy about continued restrictions and isolation of residents when social rules outside have lifted.

“Our new care home survey asks about the challenges for residents and their families including visiting, communications, Covid testing, end-of-life care and more, said Healthwatch CEO Sandie Smith.

“But we also want to hear if life at care homes is returning to ‘normal'. We know that regular visits are hugely beneficial to the wellbeing, mental health and quality of life of people living in care homes.”

“So we’re reminding people about visiting rights and how families can make sure residents’ needs and wishes are properly taken into account.”

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What is the current situation regarding visiting?

· Every resident can nominate an “essential care giver” who can visit often to provide care and companionship – even during a Covid outbreak at the home.

· You don’t need to provide personal care to get essential care giver status.

· You will have to follow stricter testing and infection control measures than other visitors but you can visit more and have closer contact.

· Talk to your loved one and the care home to organise it.

· See it’s agreed in the resident’s individual assessment on visiting as part of their care plan.

· The assessment should consider a resident’s views, needs, wellbeing and mental capacity and involve residents and families.

· Blanket bans on visiting are not allowed.

Have a say on care home life and help improve care for local residents.

Not online? Get in touch to give your views by calling: 0330 355 1285, Text: 0752 0635 176 or email: