A BRADFORD MP has asked Boris Johnson to do “everything he can” to keep care home residents safe whilst allowing visits from loved ones where possible.

Judith Cummins, MP for Bradford South, raised the question in the House of Commons yesterday, starting a debate on care homes with the prime minister, during a statement on coronavirus.

She said: “In areas such as Bradford, which have had local restrictions since July, people living in care homes have gone months without face-to-face contact with loved ones. For people with dementia, a lack of social contact can cause a marked decline.

“Will the prime minister commit to doing everything he can not only to keep care home residents and staff safe, but to work to reintroduce visits, for example, by testing loved ones on a regular basis?”

In response, Johnson said: “She makes a very important point about care homes. I think the whole house feels for those who are in care homes, perhaps nearing the end of their lives and worried that they may not see their loved ones. It is a truly terrible situation. No one would want to do that lightly.

“We try to make exceptions for very difficult circumstances, but we must reduce the incidence in care homes, or we must keep it as low as we have got it. We saw what happened earlier this year and we really do not want to see a repeat of that.”

Judith Cummins further commented: “The past few months have been extremely difficult for people in care homes and their families. The government must do everything they can to keep care home residents safe, especially with cases rising across the country, but they should also prioritise allowing family and friends to visit where it is safe to do so.

"All the evidence shows social contact with loved ones is vitally important for people in care homes.

"Labour has called on the government to provide regular testing for family members, and I urge the government to look into this."