A LOVING son will finally be able to visit his 92-year-old mother in a town care home after not seeing her for seven months due to coronavirus restrictions.

Paul Barber has been upset to have not been able to visit his 92-year-old mother, Doris since March.

Mr Barber, aged 55, admitted it was the longest he has ever gone without seeing his mother, who lives at Hastings residential care home in Malvern.

He said: “The phone calls I make to my mum are lasting less and less and it’s almost a case of who gets upset the most first.

“It's the longest I have ever gone without seeing her and at the age she is it won't be doing her any good.”

Worcestershire County Council’s Public Health department confirmed earlier this week that ‘limited’ care home visits can begin due to the ‘impact closure of care homes is having on families and residents’.

Mr Barber added: “I phoned my mum to tell her what had happened and that I will be allowed to see her in the next week or so. It was really good, and it has lifted my spirits.

“I know there are restrictions, but I told the manager I don't mind what I have to put on in order to see my mum.

“It's been a long summer without seeing her as we missed each other’s birthdays.

“My mum has watched Countdown on Channel 4 right from the start and hardly missed any. The last couple of years she had been saying that it would be lovely to see me on it.

“In the end I decided to apply and was accepted to go on it. I had to go up to Manchester last November for the filming of it.


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“I got away without telling my mum as it didn't interfere with the days I was visiting her. Unfortunately, I didn't win but I was up against a very good player.

“Just after Christmas last year I was told it would be on March 19th. I still managed to keep it from her. As it wasn't on one of my visiting days I thought I would be able to surprise her and turn up to watch it with her.

“Visiting was stopped on March 14th so I had to tell her all about it. We have never got chance to watch it together yet so hopefully it will happen soon.”

While the county is currently in tier 1 of measures, this means care home visits are allowed. However, if Worcestershire moves up to tier 2 or 3, visits will be halted again.

Dr Kathryn Cobain, the director for Public Health in Worcestershire, said: “Our residents in care homes have been unable to see their relatives for some time.

“We know this can cause a great deal of stress, worry and upset. Since we closed visits to care homes in Worcestershire, we have monitored the situation very closely and listened to feedback from families and care homes.

“The county is currently in tier 1 of measures, under which care home visits are permitted.

“If we move to tier 2 or tier 3 of the restrictions, care homes visiting will not be allowed.

“This could mean visits are prohibited for a further considerable time.

“For now, as we remain in tier 1, we have decided to advise care homes they can allow limited visits from a family member, if they are able to take place in a safe way.

“We are working closely with our care homes to ensure this is carried out in the most secure way possible.

“This is not a throwing open of the doors, it is a considered step, to be taken only in the safest of conditions, to allow residents contact with a relative, while it is still possible.

“Public Health is regularly assessing the data, the national guidance and the views of our families and residents.

“We continue to finely balance the need for family contact, with the risk of Covid-19, and we will keep the situation under review.”

A spokesman for Sanctuary Care said: “We welcome this decision and a carefully controlled change to restrictions will definitely be a positive step.

“A review of our visiting procedures nationally is ongoing, and this will also consider any new local recommendations.

“We will communicate directly with our residents and their loved ones when the review is complete and in the meantime, we will continue to follow the detailed guidance that has been provided by Public Health England.”