Charities lead call for relatives of dementia patients to be treated as key workers

Leading charities have joined forces to call on the Government to allow relatives of dementia patients to be treated as key workers, it has been reported.

According to the BBC, bosses from organisations including Dementia UK and the Alzheimer’s Society have signed a letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock calling on visits to resume safely and relatives to be given the same “key worker” access to care homes and coronavirus testing as staff.

The letter reportedly argues the care given by family members is “essential” to the overall well-being of dementia patients and the current social distancing restrictions have contributed to a “hidden catastrophe” in care homes, which have been closed to non-essential visitors since March.

It comes a day after Mr Hancock said the Government would be setting out details “in the next few days” of how Covid-secure care home visits can resume.

He told ITV News on Thursday: “People are yearning to see their loved ones and the residents of care homes get so much from visitors.

“It’s been a very, very long period and that period where there hasn’t been any visiting to care homes, that’s coming to an end very soon.

“I very much hope that in the next few days we’ll be able to make this change. We’ve been very careful about it and we’ve got to get it right.

“We’ve got to make sure it works for each local area but I hope we can make that change very soon.”

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