Government eases visiting restrictions for those lacking mental capacity

Topics covered: care homes, COVID-19, DoLS, government, Samantha Burges

On 27 April 2021 the Department for Health and Social Care updated its guidance and additional guidance on visiting restrictions for those who lack capacity.

Essentially the guidance states that face-to-face visits by professionals, for example for DoLS assessments, are an important part of the DoLS legal framework.  Such visits can occur if needed, for example to meet a person’s specific communication needs, in urgent cases or if there are concerns about a person’s human rights.

The guidance confirms that decisions around visiting are operational decisions and it is ultimately up to providers and managers of individual care homes and hospitals to decide.  It states that if an individual has not been tested for COVID-19 or is unable to provide proof of a test and it is not possible to test prior to entry, the service should make a risk based decision on whether to permit entry.  The reason and urgency of the visit should be taken into account in the decision making process.

The full guidance document can be found here and additional guidance here.

The government’s guidance on family and friends visiting care homes was also most recently updated on 22 April 2021 and the most recent guidance can be found here.

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