By Democrat reporter
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has endorsed “Anne’s Law”, a proposal to ensure safe visiting rights for care home residents’ relatives.
This proposal was set up by Natasha Hamilton, the daughter of Anne Duke. Anne is a former care home therapist who has been cut off from her family whilst living in a care home and suffering from early onset dementia.
The proposed emergency legislation would give nominated relatives or friends the same access rights to care homes as staff, while following stringent infection control procedures.
Jackie Baillie has repeatedly called for greater rights for the relatives of residents of care homes such as Crosslet House in Dumbarton. Not allowing residents to see family and friends is having an affect on the mental health of all involved.
Jackie Baillie MSP said: “I’m backing Anne’s Law and urge the Scottish Government to act now under emergency legislation to make it a reality. Time is running out for thousands of residents and their families.
“People living in care homes continue to be the forgotten victims of the pandemic. Ten months on, it is beyond cruel that relatives are locked out and, in some cases, being denied window visits.
“Many other countries around the world have facilitated safe visiting and family contact, using PPE and infection control procedures.
“Designated caregivers, whether they are family or friends, are vital partners in care and that role becomes even more necessary when care homes are short-staffed.
“Natasha’s petition has received significant backing because people recognise that the human rights of care home residents have been ripped up.
“I commend the Care Home Relatives Scotland Group and urge the First Minister to make Anne’s Law a reality.”
Meanwhile, Jackie Baillie has demanded action from the Scottish Government to support those forced to self-isolate as thousands miss out on vital support payments.
Statistics published last week revealed that, as of November 2020, fewer than a third of all applications for the self-isolation support grant were successful, with fewer than 2,000 people receiving the £500 payment between October and November 2020 despite almost 7,000 applications.
The MSP said: ““It is simply unacceptable that so many people are missing out on this vital payment.
“It is essential that all who need to self-isolate are supported to do so: we cannot have public health measures undermined due to people being forced to flout regulations as a result of a lack of financial support.
“While it is welcome that the eligibility criteria have been extended, the Scottish Government must get to grips with the support scheme and take action to prevent so many people missing out.
“Today I have called on the Scottish Government to ensure that all workers are paid properly to self-isolate. Failure to do so risks allowing the pandemic to continue unabated and will only increase pressure on the NHS.”