Please let me hug my family before it's too late!

Please let me hug my family before it's too late!

28 August 2020
Petition to
Helen Whately (Minister of State for Social Care) and
Signatures: 276,274Next Goal: 300,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Jenny Morrison

Support “Gloria’s Law” the right to maintain support with a loved one in all circumstances 

West End performer and actress Ruthie Henshall has been personally affected by the harsh visiting restrictions imposed on care homes during the pandemic. Tragically, she lost her own wonderful mum Gloria, after witnessing her decline from the other side of a window, over many torturous months, during which contact was banned.

Like thousands of others, she felt as though she was grieving for someone that was still alive. As the Ambassador for the Rights for Residents Campaign, Ruthie is campaigning for “Gloria’s Law”, a legal right for all those in health and care settings to have at least one essential Care Supporter, that could be with them in all circumstances. You can pledge your support for Gloria's Law here - it takes less than a minute.

Care home residents and patients in hospital have spent large parts of the last three years separated from their loved ones and from each other, as they were often been required to isolate in their own small rooms. Family contact is an essential part of care that was denied them during the pandemic and the huge deterioration in their mental and physical health has been catastrophic.

During the pandemic many simply gave up the will to live, leaving families unable to say their last goodbyes. Those living with conditions that prevent them from understanding what is happening and why, were been forcibly separated and left feeling confused and abandoned by their loved ones. 

‘Gloria’s Law’ would ensure every one of and our loved ones would always have access to a close friend or relative who can provide support, advocacy and essential human contact. We ALL need to protect ourselves from being completely cut off from loved ones when we in health or care settings, including hospitals and care homes. In the event of a future pandemic this could happen to any of us, as we're not immune from ill health or frailty.

Government guidance stresses the need to enable visiting, even during outbreaks, but as it remains advisory and not law, there are no consequences for those refusing to follow it. Legal change is desperately needed to protect the rights of those in health and care facilities.

What we want the Government to do 

We’re calling on the Government to take the following urgent action:

  • Pass legislation (Gloria’s Law) that gives all those in health and care settings the legal right, to at least one Care Supporter (relative or friend) that can give in-person support to them in all circumstances.
  • Force care homes to return to pre Covid, unrestricted visiting arrangements, without the need for appointments, limits on time/frequency or the number of visitors.

Family members are not “just” visitors. No matter how wonderful care home or hospital  staff are, they cannot provide the type of emotional support that only comes from a family member or close friend. From children separated from their parents to young adults and the elderly, the distress for them has been unimaginable.

Inequality and Discrimination

On 19 January 2022, the then Health Secretary Sajid Javid acknowledged “we must learn to live with Covid in the same way we live with flu”. Those living in care settings must have access to these same freedoms as everyone else, as they have just as much right to live a meaningful life.

While those in wider society enjoy socialising wherever and whenever they want, some residents and their families are still subject to visiting restrictions, despite all parties being vaccinated. All in our society should have this same right to a family life.

Ministers must act with greater urgency to end the disparity of treatment and ensure people are protected for the future.  Please sign our petition and help end this inequality.

Thank you for signing.




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Signatures: 276,274Next Goal: 300,000
Support now