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Extended suspension of services to protect vulnerable groups

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Measures to protect some of the most vulnerable members of the community from coronavirus are to be extended to cover the length of the current circuit break.

The Department of Health and Social Care’s residential homes for older people, dementia care residential units and learning disability community homes are to remain closed to all non-essential visitors, to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission to residents and staff.

The restriction, initially introduced for seven days at the start of the lockdown, has been reviewed in the light of evidence that the virus has been circulating in the community.

Additionally, the department has extended the temporary closure of Adult Social Care day services, in line with current restrictions which require people to stay at home and avoid the mixing of households. The measure applies to older people’s day services, dementia care day services and learning disability day services across the Island. Learning disability respite care facilities will be available on a case-by-case basis, to meet assessed essential needs.  

Health and Social Care Minister David Ashford said:

‘I know people want to visit loved ones in our residential homes and that service users miss coming to our day centres. I thank everyone for their support during the first week of the circuit break and am confident they will understand our reasons for extending the restrictions. All these decisions have been taken in the best interest of vulnerable residents and service users.

He added:

‘Staff are exploring ways to offset disruption in these challenging times. They have made plans to maintain regular contact with clients and carers who use day services during the closure period, via phone, letter and in exceptional circumstances a home visit may be made. We look forward to welcoming visitors back into our residential homes and to seeing service users enjoy activities at our day centres again, at the earliest opportunity.’

Current restrictions will be kept under regular review and families kept informed by the Adult Social Care team.