Andrew Jones urges care minister to ease ‘restrictive’ outdoor guidance


Apr 28, 2021
Andrew Jones, Harrogate and Knaresborough MP.

Harrogate and Knaresborough Conservative MP Andrew Jones has urged care minister Helen Whately to review care home guidance on outdoor trips.

The guidance says residents that leave homes must isolate for 14 day except for medical appointments or exceptional circumstances.

It has been widely criticised nationally and locally, including by care home residents, the Bishop of Ripon and the director of health and adult services at North Yorkshire County Council.

Nick Moxon, 32, who has cerebral palsy and is a resident at Disability Action Yorkshire‘s care home on Claro Road, Harrogate last week told the Stray Ferret he feels “trapped” and “treated like a lesser being” because of the guidance.

Now Mr Jones has described it as “too restrictive and not in the best interests of the health and wellbeing of our care home residents” and urged Whately to act.

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Mr Jones revealed the news not on his official website but on Community News, a website he runs featuring local Conservatives.

He said “slow but positive improvements” meant care home residents could now receive two nominated visitors and hold hands with them

But he added the same could not be said for outdoors visits, which particularly impacted younger care home residents:

“New guidance says that when they leave their homes for any reason, as they often do to exercise in the fresh air, they must self-isolate for 14 days thereafter. This is said to be necessary to keep other residents safe.

“Whilst I support the government’s motive, this is undoubtedly too restrictive and not in the best interests of the health and wellbeing of our care home residents.

“I have written to the Minister for Care, Helen Whately, to ask for the guidance to be reassessed and reconsidered and I hope this will be acted upon quickly.”




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