MPs hear how lockdown prevented mother visiting 21-year-old son in care before his death

The case of a mother who was unable to see her son in adult residential care due to lockdown before he passed away has been raised in the Commons.

Conservative MP Joy Morrissey (Beaconsfield) said that a constituent had “watched and heard in horror” as her 21-year-old son’s health deteriorated.

Her son Jamie had started to become catatonic, was refusing to eat and had developed open wounds and bed sores. However, she was unable to visit him, the MP explained.

The tragic case was highlighted during a general debate on Covid-19 in Parliament on Wednesday.

“The reason that I am here today is to speak on behalf of a mother in my constituency who also lost someone very dear to her, her 21-year-old son Jamie,” said Ms Morrissey (pictured).

“And Jamie represents a cohort that often falls through the cracks in care – not just during a pandemic but in everyday existence.

“It’s a cohort of working-age disabled adults in long-term residential care… His mother battled from the day of his birth to make sure that he had the care and provision that he needed to succeed.

“She was a teacher, she is a local community champion and, during lockdown, she was denied access to her son and she was unable to visit him and watched and heard in horror as his health and situation deteriorated day by day… He began to become catatonic, refused to eat, developed open wounds and bed sores.

“And it wasn’t until lockdown ended that she was able to have access to her son, her only son, and by that point it was too late.

“Jamie passed away the week before and I had been unaware of the situation that Jamie was in. And I’m speaking today to raise that awareness so that other family members may have access, special visitation rights for their child who is in adult social care but is struggling during this pandemic.

“And that by speaking about Jamie, they will have access and that we will remember to have humanity and compassion for those that are vulnerable and suffering during this pandemic.”

Health minister Jo Churchill said: “It is a terribly hard time for families and residents but also for those care home staff as well. Their first duty is to keep their residents safe.

“Last Thursday, guidance was published to enable care home providers, families and local professionals to find the right balance between the benefits of visiting and the risk of transmission.

“Care home visits will be allowed to develop further via trials to allow more visits, supported by testing.”

Also speaking during the debate, Labour MP Emma Hardy (Kingston Upon Hull West and Hessle) urged people to take Covid-19 seriously, telling MPs that she lost her nan to the virus earlier this week.

She told the Commons: “On Monday, I lost my nan to Covid-19. She didn’t die in Hull, she died somewhere else. And I hope if my mum’s watching she knows that I’m sending her all my love from this place and as soon as possible I’ll be round there to give her a hug.”

She added: “In fact, it was only last year I stood up in Chamber and told everyone what a remarkable woman that she was and I urge people to take this seriously.”

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