The head of Public Authority Law at one of the top 500 law firms in the country has issued a reminder to Local Authorities and Care Homes that they need to put specific plans in place to ensure the most vulnerable members of society are properly protected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shane Maddocks, a solicitor with North Wales and Shropshire Law firm, GHP Legal, said: “As lockdown eases for many of us, it is still the case that Care Homes are operating policies which either prevent visitors entering or else restrict how visits take place.
“Whilst this seems sensible, it is however important that they ensure Care Plans for the most vulnerable and those lacking capacity to make their own decisions contain special provisions that ensure there is proper risk management in place.
“This is not just in relation to plans for keeping the residents safe from COVID-19, it is also about the wider issues associated with them being kept in a Care Home on “lockdown” for a long period of time, and in particular the effect this may have on their mental health. There needs to be a plan in place to ensure they are getting as much social stimulation as possible within the parameters of current COVID guidance.
“Currently there is a massive focus on mental health and it is important that we do not forget about the most vulnerable in society who may not have capacity to make their own decisions and who place their trust in the hands of Local Authorities and Care Homes”.