New law could give you legal right to visit relatives in care homes

A new law due to be presented to the UK Health Secretary this week could allow people to visit their relatives in nursing homes.

Nursing home visits have been effectively banned through parts of the pandemic and lockdown to protect residents from Covid-19.

In England, nursing homes are currently being told to try to allow relatives to visit outdoors and “screen” and allow visits in exceptional circumstances, such as at the end of life.

However, new legislation has reportedly been drafted to give families the right to re-visit. the Daily Mail reports.

Harriet Harman, chair of the Commons Joint Human Rights Committee, said direct bans on visiting are a violation of human rights law.

She is reported to have said, “We have developed a full set of rules that means that a close relative is treated the same as someone who works at home.

“A relative is part of the care team and the care home must allow this person a visit who is relevant to the service user.

“Everyone has a right to family life. That is one of the basic human rights. You don’t stop having a right to family life just because you are in home care. In fact, the family can be even more important.”

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