Blanket bans on care home visits

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

The CQC is being called to take action against care homes who do not facilitate family and friends visiting residents. This is part of an overarching campaign by the Joint Committee on Human Rights to get the government to review its guidelines so that “meaningful visits are facilitated by care providers, subject to individualised risk assessments”.

Back in May, the Committee published a report which found that blanket bans on care home visits were a contravention of the human rights of residents, particularly the right to family life. Now the Committee is asking the government to revisit the draft legislation if had put forward.

Likewise, in May the CQC published that between March and May 2021 it had conducted 1282 inspections and taken action against 5% of providers due to concerns regarding visiting and had taken further steps against 37 cases of blanket bans on visiting.

In a letter from the Harriet Harman MP, Chair of the Committee, to the Chair of the CQC, she states:

“You will recall that we raised significant concerns around the lack of data on the care sector’s adherence to the Government’s guidance on care home visiting. We made a number of urgent recommendations to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), including to:

  • establish better processes for collecting data and monitoring the right of care home residents to receive visitors;
  • collect and publish live data on levels of visiting in every care home, the number of complaints that have been received and how these have been resolved;
  • work together with the Government to implement a new complaints process for residents that guarantees anonymity and provides families with confidence that their relatives will not face retaliation for raising.

We are concerned the difficulties we have highlighted in our previous work persist and that these recommendations have not been acted upon, which might lead to further infringements of residents’ human rights during the coming winter.”

The Committee’s recent actions may spark a reaction from the CQC and increased enforcement In this area.

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