Corrie Star Leandra Ashton formed advice group for families with relatives in care homes (Image: SWNS)
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A former Corrie star is fighting for an end to time limits on care home visits.
Leandra Ashton, 42, formed an advice group for families after mum Ylenia Angeli, a qualified nurse, was arrested while trying to take her nan out of a site. A clip of last November’s incident went viral.
Visiting rules for care homes amid the pandemic were updated in May but Leandra thinks many residents’ health is deteriorating due to loneliness – with access having become a “postcode lottery”.
The actress, who played Saskia Larson in the ITV soap, said the care home system has been broken for years but families kept an eye on relatives treatment.
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Leandra Ashton with mum Ylenia Angeli and nan Tina Thornborough
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She said: “But now we’ve locked families out. The deterioration in residents is plain to see. We’ve got to stop the isolation, it’s killing people. There shouldn’t be restrictions on time.”
Government guidance now says residents can have up to five named visitors, including two at a time, if they have a lateral flow test and wear the home’s PPE.
But a report by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, led by Labour’s Harriet Harman, says a “large number” of homes are not following the guidance.
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The MPs want visiting rights backed by law.
Leandra started Facebook group Care Homes in Lockdown to advise families and call for an end to time limits on visits, despite fears over new Covid variants.
She said a number of members had only been able to see loved ones for under half an hour a week – and with only one family member present.
Leandra's grandmother Tina Thornborough
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Leandra also said the health of her dementia-hit nan Tina Thornborough, 97, has improved dramatically since she moved in with Ylenia in Scotland last year.
James White, of the Alzheimer’s Society, said relatives had reported seeing loved ones giving up on life due to lack of socialising or visits.
However, some experts urge caution over attributing deaths directly to isolation in care homes.