Campaigners Challenge Care Home Isolation Requirement

Campaigners from a care home visiting rights group, John’s Campaign, have issued a High Court challenge to a requirement for residents to isolate for 14 days on isolation on admission or return from an overnight visit.

Nicci Gerrard of John’s Campaign said: “With every day that passes, and with each grim iteration of its guidance, the government’s treatment of people who live in care homes becomes more damaging and more grotesque. It was always cruel to isolate people in homes and to discriminate against them, it was always meaningless and wrong, but suffering is a time-bound process. The 14-day rule punishes people who have committed no crime and treats them as lesser. We call on the government to behave with compassion and decency and change this guidance that has caused so much suffering.”

Supported by the Relatives and Residents Association, grounds for the campaign have been submitted with supporting evidence and studies compiled by John’s Campaign which demonstrate the profound impact of the 14-day isolation rule on residents and their families.

The case studies reveal how the isolation period has resulted in serious and irreversible decline in some care home residents, particularly on those with disabilities, how many residents have been subjected to repeated periods of isolation because of the restrictions and how they have resulted in some residents refusing home visits and some families refusing respite care for fear they will be separated from loved ones.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We understand contact with family and friends is vital to the health and wellbeing of residents and we are doing everything we can to provide safe opportunities for people to see their loved ones. Residents should be supported to enjoy a range of trips out of the care home, wherever it is safe and proportionate to do so. Guidance on visits out of care homes will be kept under review which will include, when the data shows it is safe, looking again at the requirement for residents to isolate on their return from a visit.”

Details on this and other stories can be found at:, where you can also follow a link to current government guidance on care home visits.

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