photo Paul Mattsson

photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Rosa, South Tyne & Wear Socialist Party

While government guidance now allows us to go to pubs and music festivals, go on holidays, and meet up with friends, care home residents are being kept under lockdown. Private, profit-making care home companies have restricted visits, sometimes to less than once a week, and only for 30 minutes.

Many care homes are deciding their own rules, as government guidelines are just that, with no legal requirements. Many families, after not seeing their loved ones for months, have found deterioration in quality of care as they have been unable to check on the welfare of family members.

This is not the fault of care workers who are doing their best on minimum wage, working extra shifts to cover staff shortages, and ignored by the bosses of the big care companies. Meanwhile, residents are denied the same rights as everyone else in society; the right to spend time with family and friends.

Most care homes are run by private companies looking at profit before their resident’s welfare. To increase profits they cut corners and rely on the goodwill of staff who don’t want to let residents down. Most residents are paying well over £1,000 per week for care, from their life savings and selling of their homes. It suits the care companies to restrict access to the residents, as they can’t then raise complaints about cost-cutting and welfare issues.

‘Rights for residents’ is a group set up by families who are campaigning on behalf of their loved ones, to enable them to have the same rights as the rest of us. They are demonstrating outside Downing Street on 16 September. Families plan to travel from all over the country, many are people who have never protested or marched before. Let’s show them some support.