Charity calls for changes to COVID isolation rules to allow vital respite care

A charity in Southport which provides holidays for disabled people and their carers is warning the current coronavirus restrictions are pushing families to breaking point.

At the moment anyone entering their centres has to isolate for 14 days in line with care home rules. The government says their priority has to be preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Revitalise is calling for changes in isolation rules to help provide respite care Credit: Revitalise

But Revitalise is calling for exceptions to be be made for those needing respite care - saying its made their week-long breaks almost impossible for people to access.

Jan  Tregelles CEO of Revitalise says this is having a huge impact on people's mental health and well being, particularly with winter approaching.

For 57 years, Revitalise, based in Southport, has provided respite care breaks to a huge range of people. These are a vital lifeline to so many unpaid home carers and disabled family members.

After serious issues with care homes at the start of the pandemic, the government has imposed blanket 14-day isolation guidelines for anybody entering any care setting. These prohibit access to emergency respite care for people who are already desperate. In short, Revitalise says it believes this guidance is 'flawed and failing those who need it most'.

Revitalise argues this is completely contrary to what is happening in the NHS, where inevitably, emergency treatment cannot require any isolation period.

There were 9.1 million family carers in the UK at the start of lockdown, and it is estimated that a further 4.5 million have taken on caring responsibilities since the COVID-19 pandemic. T