DHSC pilot launches for family members to get regular testing to enable safer care home visits - Alzheimer's Society comment

The charity responds to news that family members will receive regular testing so they can visit care homes

Fiona Carragher, Director of Research and Influencing at Alzheimer’s Society, said:

'We’re pleased to finally have the details of the pilot, and it's great to see the Government listening to our calls for recognition of the integral role that family carers play in supporting their loved ones with dementia.

'Testing is the solution - we appreciate the Ministers’ recognition that screens and windows just don’t work for people with dementia and their families. But we worry it is too little too late for the desperate families who have been waiting 8 months to visit their loved ones -  the promise of care home visitors being at the front of the line to get more ring-fenced tests as the new ones become available must fast become reality, as we simply can’t afford for the misery, heartache and deaths to continue.

We have to recognise the terrible mental health toll on people with dementia simply giving up on life as well as on the many thousands of grieving families who haven’t been able to be with their loved ones in their last months, weeks and days, and who will never be able to get that precious time back.

'We urge the Government to learn the lessons from the pilots speedily, ensuring all designated family carers get visiting access fast via a national rollout, regardless of area transmission rates - with testing and equipment in place, safe visits must happen now to avoid further tragedy.'