The Independent Care Group has welcomed new Government legislation to clarify visiting rights to families of people living in care and nursing homes.
But it has also warned that power over visits should always remain with the residents themselves.
The Government yesterday announced new legislation to strengthen the rules around visiting people in hospital and care settings.
The Independent Care Group has welcomed the clarification but said visiting rights should be with the residents.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “As care providers we know the huge importance of visiting to those in our care in terms of mental wellbeing,
happiness and companionship. We saw during the pandemic how hard it was for residents and their families when care and nursing homes had to restrict visiting to comply with guidance and to keep those residents and their carers safe.
“So, we welcome the strengthening of the rules but with some provisos.
“Our belief is that power over visiting should always rest with the residents themselves. As we try to help residents to retain their freedom and independence, whether to accept visitors or not should be a part of that.
“There will be times, for example, when a resident doesn’t want visitors and we must all respect that. They might want some peace and quiet or they might not want a particular visitor to come and we have to be mindful of that and not be tempted to give away that choice on their behalf.
“Yes, strengthen the legislation but make sure the residents stay in charge.”
The Government is consulting on the proposed new legislation until 16th August.