If it comes into force, Gloria’s Law will ensure that no elderly or vulnerable person ever dies alone while staying in a care home.
During the recent pandemic hundreds died isolated and alone in care homes. This is heart wrenching enough. The fact their families and friends were unable comfort let alone say goodbye to their loved ones in their final moments only compounds this sad chapter.
Gloria’s Law wants to make sure this never happens to anyone again.
Gloria’s Law is named after actress Ruthie Henshall’s mother. Ms Henshall was forced to watch her mother decline from the other side of a closed window in her care home. When she eventually persuaded the home to let her see her mother, they had next to no time left together.
The campaign has rightly caught the public eye. Celebrities including Stephen Fry, Martine McCutcheon, Russell T Davies, Jason Manford, Robson Green, Alice Beer, Hermione Norris, Denise Welch, Penny Smith, Colin McFarlane and Russell Watson have joined MPs and over 70 organisations to call for the new law. If successful, the law would herald a new legal right for people using health and care services that would guarantee them the support of a family carer. This carer would be available at all times, even during a pandemic.
Many of the families who experienced the harm of separation during Covid travelled to Westminster on the 6th of June to lobby in person for this new law to add their voice to the efforts of the 60 MPs who have already written to the Secretary of State to demand the new law is passed.
Politicians from all parties link up to press for Gloria’s Law
The date they chose was no coincidence. The rally coincided with Labour MP Dan Carden tabling a Ten Minute Rule Bill, the ‘Care Supporters Bill’. Mr Carden did so with the support of a coalition of Conservative MP Tracey Crouch, Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper, and Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader Liz Saville Roberts, a combination that shows this bill surpasses party loyalties.
Ahead of tabling the bill Mr Carden said:
“Campaign groups and their families should not still have to fight to see their loved ones in hospitals, care homes and other care settings. These are some of the most vulnerable people in our society – guidance has not and will not adequately protect their ability to spend time with those they hold dearest, as we have so often witnessed.
Families do not deserve any further delay; they have suffered enough. We must learn from the collective trauma of the coronavirus pandemic and bring in legislation. I cannot think of any other issue that has commanded such unanimous cross-party support – my Ten Minute Rule Bill would ensure that those who receive health and care services have the right to be accompanied by a care supporter. It is in the government’s hands now to put it into law.”
During the event, the Care Minister, Helen Whately MP, and Health Minister , Steve Barclay MP, heard directly from families about the severe harm caused by isolation in hospitals and care homes and was moving enough to prompt Ms Whately to promise she was “on the case” and commit to “sorting this out”.