THE daughter of a 92-year-old woman said her mother has told her she, “wishes she was dead” after six months without physical contact and comfort from her family.

Linda Watson’s mother’s care home - Bothwell Castle - is in Lanarkshire, which is among several  health boards which have ruled out the re-introduction of indoor visits because the risk of Covid-19 is deemed too high.

Care home providers were asked to submit their plans for indoor visits to the relevant health board by August 24. 

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Plans would then be signed off once the board's Director of Public Health was satisfied the home met all the criteria for indoor visiting. It included being free of Covid-19 for 28 days and participating in a staff testing programme. Around 200 care homes are said to be affected by the continued restriction.

It has also emerged many care homes missed the deadline for setting out their proposals.

Linda’s mother suffers from mild dementia and chronic delirium, which can lead to a sudden, period of confusion that comes on within hours or days. She was her full-time carer until shortly before lock-down when she reluctantly accepted that her mother required specialist care.

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She is restricted to one weekly visit from outside her mother's room in a patio area and window conversation.

Linda, who lives in Robroyston, said: “I love my mum, I miss her. She is in her final years and we cannot comfort each othe, cannot hold each other’s hand, cannot hug. It is inhumane.

“If my mum passes away before iI have been able to do any of those things I won’t be able to cope with the fact that she will think I have abandoned her.

“It is now nearly six months and while the rest seems to be back to some sort of normality - you can go for a drink - I can’t hold my mums hand. It's disgusting and insulting.

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“I won’t get my hair cut or eat out in case I get a phone call from test and trace and ruin my chance of visiting my mum .

“My mum moved into permanent care home on June 3, then broke her hip and requires to have it operated on.

“She’s scared and needs me . All she keeps saying to me is I wish I was dead I cant take this anymore. It is tearing me apart."

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Linda said she has written to NHS Lanarkshire urging the board to make tests available to relatives to allow visits to re-commence and said she had sent numerous "begging" emails to the First Minister and Health Secretary Jeane Freeman.

She added: “Please let us be tested, wear PPE and be in with our precious loved ones. If my mum passes away before that happens I will not be able to live with myself.”

Scottish Labour’s health and social spokeswoman Monica Lennon MSP said: “Whilst folk are returning to gyms, pubs and restaurants, people living in care homes seem to be ‘out of sight and out of mind’ and their rights and freedoms have been lost.

"Expanding designated care home visits and making testing and PPE available to family carers must be implemented urgently.”

Gabe Docherty, director of public health for NHS Lanarkshire, said: “I am acutely aware that the current situation will cause anxiety and disappointment among care home residents and their loved ones and I fully sympathise with them. 

“We must, however, ensure that we do everything we can to protect care home residents, staff and their families as we continue to address the challenges that Covid-19 presents. 

“We would strongly encourage anyone who is finding the current Covid-19 situation mentally distressing or challenging to contact either their GP, seek information from or call the Scottish Government’s Covid advice line on 0800 028 2816.”