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Christian care home charity calls for clear guidance from government next week

by Kelly Valencia

Christian care home network Pilgrims' Friend Society is urging the Government to include a clear and timely plan on guidance and additional funding for care homes in next week's lockdown announcement. 

The prime minister is expected to set out his roadmap on easing restrictions on 22nd February, which could include dates for when non-essential shops can reopen. 

But care homes feel they have often been given little time to prepare and adapt to new guidelines. 

"We tend to have a last-minute note on what might be happening for care homes. So we would like a bit of warning on the guidance that might be, so that we can plan properly and have everything in place in a good time," Victoria Stone, operations manager and coronavirus lead at the Christian charity Pilgrims' Friend Society, told Premier Christian News.

She said the news of 15 million people being offered the jab brings hope for care homes, especially if it means new guidance on the visiting system. 

"That sense of anticipation of being able to see their loved one is really lovely. We do have to make sure that everyone is safe, both our resident and the visitor, but you can see afterwards the impact of that visit. It's just wonderful. That resident is boosted and feels a bit brighter," she said.

Last week, a coalition of organisations and NGOs called on the Government to introduce a new care visiting system before 1st March, saying it was a "matter of safety, common decency, and fundamental rights". They are asking for in-person visits indoors and without screens between residents and their essential caregivers. 

Under current government guidance "visiting should be supported and enabled wherever it is possible to do so safely...This means finding the right balance between the benefits of visiting on wellbeing and quality of life, and the risk of transmission of Covid-19 to social care staff and clinically vulnerable residents." 

Stone concluded by encouraging prayers for care home staff. 

"Pray for our managers to be able to deal with the additional work that has been put on them and pray for our residents' loved ones - that they're understanding and appreciative of what the care home is doing."

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