Care Homes – but will you see your granny and grampa this Christmas?
By Lucy Ashton
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has raised concerns that care home visitors in West Dunbartonshire are not yet able to access testing to allow them to visit loved ones over the Christmas period.
The Scottish Government announced that care home visitor testing would begin under a trial period on 7 December and that all Scottish care homes would be sent lateral flow testing kits from 14 December to allow for visitors to enter the home.
However, despite this promise from the Scottish Government, Jackie Baillie has spoken to West Dunbartonshire Council officials who have confirmed that lateral flow testing is not yet happening in West Dunbartonshire care homes, meaning that visits are unable to go ahead.
Jackie Baillie, pictured left, has repeatedly called on the government to introduce both rapid tests for care home visitors and weekly tests for all care home workers and residents.
The MSP said: “This has been a tough year for us all – not least for care home residents who have spent most of 2020 in near complete isolation.
“I welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to introduce lateral flow testing for care home visitors to allow for loved ones to be reunited over the Christmas period.
“Any delay on visitors getting tests means delays in ending the loneliness that so many elderly and vulnerable care home residents experienced this year. The Scottish Government must act urgently to ensure that all care home visitors receive tests so that visits can go ahead before Christmas and the New Year.”