Stage star Ruthie Henshall hits out at care home COVID restrictions following mother’s death

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Stage star Ruthie Henshall has criticised care home coronavirus restrictions that were put in place by the government, following the death of her mother.

Her mother died in a care home on Tuesday morning, the I'm A Celebrity star announced on Instagram.

Henshall said that not allowing visits from loved ones was "utterly inhumane" and "totally unnecessary".

From last week, care home residents that leave to go for a walk or to see a loved one no longer have to isolate for two weeks on their return.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) got rid of the requirement that only "low-risk" outdoor visits could take place after it was threatened with legal action by the charity John's Campaign.

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Writing on Instagram, Henshall said: "My beautiful mummy Gloria passed away very peacefully early this morning.

"I managed to care for her for a few short weeks. It was my honour and my privilege.

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"If the government had made their guidance law my sisters would have seen her more than a couple of times before losing her.

"Even recently my sister Susan was doing window visits because she wasn't able to get an indoor visit for 3 weeks.

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"Shame on every government official and care home provider that decided to ignore residents' human rights and just batten down the hatches.

"You kept out love and hope. I am devastated. I hope it was worth the cost to keep them behind locked doors."

Sky News has contacted the DHSC for a response.

After the rule changes, residents who go out of care homes must be with a member of staff or one of their named visitors, with social distancing in place throughout.

Residents are also not allowed to meet in groups or go indoors, except to use the toilet, and are urged to avoid public transport.

As long as it is agreed with the care home in advance, residents are able to eat outdoors at a restaurant or cafe with their chaperone.

Ruthie Henshall (centre) and Liz Kendall MP (right) join protestors in Parliament Square, London, to deliver a petition calling for all care home residents to have the right to an essential visitor in the event of another wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Picture date: Tuesday May 4, 2021.

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Henshall (centre) campaigned in Parliament Square last week with Labour MP Liz Kendall (right)

Last week, Ms Henshall joined campaigners in Parliament Square to deliver a petition signed by more than 300,000 people that called for care home residents to have the right to an essential visitor in the event of another wave of infection.

Referring to her sister Susan's inability to visit her mother before her death, she said: "This was completely and totally unnecessary.

"Utterly inhumane to these beautiful residents who are not really living much of a life."

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