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I recently led for the SNP in a debate on family visiting arrangements to health and social care settings during covid19. Lack of contact with loved ones is a cause of severe distress for care home residents, their families, and the carers who look after them.

There is no doubt that we need to ensure care home residents are protected as much as possible from Covid19, given the high risk it poses to them. However, we cannot ignore the crippling impact of loneliness and isolation that restrictions are having on our older people. Striking the right balance between safety from the virus and contact with family members is extremely difficult and distressing for all involved.

Expanding testing for visitors may help to allow closer contact between residents and their families, and the news of a potential vaccine provides much needed hope. We must continue to be creative in how we can continue to combat the distress and isolation residents are experiencing as a result of this health crisis, which is also adversely impacting the health and wellbeing of our older people.

You can watch my speech below.

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