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Care Homes: Dementia

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Lisa Cameron Lisa Cameron Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Mental Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to issue guidance to care homes on safe visitation guidance to ensure that people with dementia can retain cognitive and communication skills.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Department, Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission and the National Health Service have published guidance on the care of residents in care homes, including those with dementia. It asks care homes to consider alternatives to in-person visiting, including use of telephones or video, or the use of plastic or glass barriers between residents and visitors. Care homes are responding with innovative solutions which are allowing residents to stay in touch with their family and friends.

While we have recommended that family and friends should be advised not to visit care homes, we are clear that there may be exceptional situations where this is appropriate. This includes visits at the end of life.

Work is ongoing with the National Clinical Director for dementia, service providers, and user groups to develop additional resources on dementia to support those in care homes and the community.

We will continue to review our policies in line with the latest scientific advice.

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