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Visiting stopped in all Derbyshire County Council care homes

Gernon Manor House Care Home, Bakewell

All visits to Derbyshire County Council’s care homes have now been stopped.

Ten days ago the authority restricted access to its care homes to “essential visitors” only, but this has now been raised to a ban on all visiting.

This is in an aim to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and the impact the virus could have on the vulnerable and elderly residents in the authority’s 23 care homes.

Care home residents are among the people most at risk from the virus.

The council has said: “We’ve made the difficult yet important decision to stop all visiting at our care homes for the safety of elderly residents.

“Our day centres for older people and our day centres for people with learning disabilities have also been closed in line with government and public health guidelines.”

The council has plans to close seven of its care homes permanently and says this could happen during the Covid-19 pandemic such are the issues with “electrical safety”.

Campaigners have called for these plans to be halted until after the pandemic is over.

Under the Coronavirus Bill, which is near approval, councils would be given emergency powers to scale down their adult social care responsibilities.

This could include reducing weekly home visits from three to one.

They will also be able to prioritise care for people with the most pressing needs.

Councils will not have to meet people’s full assessed needs as long as this does not mean they fail to maintain their duty of care not to put people “at risk of serious neglect or harm”.

The county council has also closed all of its facilities at its countryside sites, including its car parks, shops, cafes, visitor centres and play equipment.

It has also closed all nine of its household waste recycling centres and its adult community education centres.

The authority has also closed its outdoor education sites at Lea Green and White Hall until at least Thursday, April 30.

It has also closed all 45 of its libraries and taken its two mobile libraries off the road; the record office in Matlock has also been closed, along with the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery.

All of the council’s public offices are closed to visitors.

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