The distress being caused to care home residents who are isolated from their loved ones has been highlighted by Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston.
The Conservative MSP was commenting after the issue was raised by a member of the audience on this week’s BBC Scotland Debate Night programme on which Mr Halcro Johnston was appearing as a panellist.
Mr Halcro Johnston said: “Care homes have been at the front line of the struggle against Covid-19, with over 2,000 residents from across Scotland losing their lives.
“That tragedy is now being compounded by many residents and their families still being prevented from being together by strict rules - which, given the need to protect residents, are often entirely understandable – but which leave vulnerable residents isolated from their loved ones.
“To be separated from your nearest relatives at such a time can be devastating, particularly for people who may be suffering from memory loss and who rely on personal visits to keep in contact with their families.
“A number of care homes are doing their best to adjust and facilitate a more flexible approach, but we really need to see the Scottish Government take a lead and provide the right sort of guidance and support.
“Early on in the pandemic, care homes in Scotland took the brunt of Covid cases due to the mistake of discharging infected patients from hospitals into care homes.
“But as we take measures to combat the resurgence of the virus, and protect those who need protecting, it is vital that ministers get the balance right and that care home residents and their families are treated with respect and compassion.
“We have heard so many distressing personal accounts of the impact that Covid has had on care home residents. We must ensure that vulnerable older people are not put at further risk from the devastating consequences of prolonged isolation.”