‘I pitched an idea – about how government guidelines had changed on care home visiting – to a mainstream broadsheet a few weeks ago. The editor told me the sort of headline he’d like: he wanted the story to be about the number of care homes that had been flouting the new rules and whether the care homes would be ‘punished’ for this. I agreed that that’d be a good story.
All the care homes I know of personally have been wittingly or unwittingly ignoring the government guidelines, which actually now state that visits should be facilitated,
but I’d have had to call every care home in the UK to find out for sure.
I didn’t have to do any research to find out that there are no repercussions for care homes who are preventing visits. And why’s that? Because they don’t have to follow government guidelines.
And why don’t they have to follow government guidelines? Because the guidelines are just suggestions – not laws! I called the CQC and other bodies I thought could help but they held no information on what the editor wanted for his headline and there was nothing to back up the desired headline.
I could have made something up like so many other journalists do, but decided not to. No story ran on this subject in the end, not one by me anyway. I think the real story here is that care homes don’t have to follow guidelines. But the papers don’t want to publish that.
Why? Because if care homes don’t have to follow government guidelines, nor do we.
And they don’t want that getting out, do they?’