Care home criticises 'crazy' lack of government advice

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Lauren Barnes says all of the group's care homes are virus-free

A care home group has banned family visits in order to protect residents and staff, blaming a "crazy" ongoing lack of government guidance.

Manor Park Dementia Care in Weston-super-Mare runs three homes.

Director Lauren Barnes said: "I think its crazy that we're six months in and we still don't have clear guidance of what we have to do in a care home. You have to do this by yourself."

The government says it is spending £600m to ensure care homes are safe.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "Throughout our coronavirus response we have been doing everything we can to ensure all staff and residents in care homes are protected.

Self-imposed lockdown

"We are testing all residents and staff, have provided 200 million items of PPE and ring-fenced £600 million to prevent infections in care homes, with a further £3.7 billion available to councils to address pressures caused by the pandemic, including in adult social care."

Manor Park Dementia Care's self-imposed lockdown came into force on Friday.

Ms Barnes said: "There's no guidance at all. You have to make the decisions all by yourself.

"They say 'risk-assess it' and do what you feel is right. I know there are cases in North Somerset, both staff and residents. Cases are rising so we had to take that decision."

She said all of the group's homes were virus-free.

North Somerset Council said that transmission rates were rising in the district and it was "continuing to monitor case data closely".

"We will continue to work with our care homes to assess and manage risks and take any further steps required to protect vulnerable members of our community," a council spokesperson said.

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