Bring 15 minute covid testing to long stay hospital wards and rehab units for familys

Bring 15 minute covid testing to long stay hospital wards and rehab units for familys

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philippa hodson started this petition to Boris Johnson (Prime Minister) and

The government are talking about bringing in the army to test whole cities using 15 minute tests and also bringing them to labour wards so partners can be there for births and on cancer wards. Well there is another major area of health care where these tests are desperatly needed. Long stay rehabilitation settings. Originally this was going to be about brain injury rehabilitation units but it seemed it is something that would be important across all long stay settings.

We already know lockdown has an impact on mental health and so 'support bubbles' were invented for single adult households. But people who are having long spells in hospital for rehabilitation do not meet this criteria.

Imagine you have had a huge stroke. You are in hospital for months on end for rehabilitation to help you learn to walk and talk again. You are grieving the loss of a life you once had, coming to terms with needing support to do once simple tasks and then you are told you cannot see your loved ones for at least 4 weeks, maybe longer while having to go through one of the most difficult things you have ever been through. Many people have cognitive or communication impairements that make accessing technology to connect with loved ones difficult with staff support and impossible independently. This leads to low mood and depression and anxiety and you stop engaging in rehab. There is a critical period post brain injury where rehab is most effective and if you can't engage then you will likely not recover all the function you could have. On a human level this is awful, on an economic level its a long term financial burden on health and social care so prevention by allowing safe visits through 15 minute testing could pay for itself with better rehab outcomes.

There are already patients in these settings who struggle with current restriction of only seeing one loved one for a small timeslot once a day (pre covid visiting was unlimited). Removing visits entirely will be devastating. The first time round we had no choice. Now there is another option. Even just one or two visits a week would make a difference. Fund 15 minutes tests to allow this. Please.

 

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At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!