A FAMILY's campaign to reform Covid guidance on mental health wards in Scotland has received the support of more than 35,000 signatures. 

Tens of thousands of people have put their names to the cause, which looks to see isolation rules changed for long-term patients.

The Boulazreg siblings shared their struggles last month after their brother, Callum, had to isolate for the seventh time - despite showing negative PCR tests.

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Glasgow family in fight for Scottish Government to axe 10-day Covid isolation rule on mental health wards

His sisters, Lauren and Louisa, argued that each time their brother is "locked away", it hinders his road to recovery. 

They want to see the 10-day rule axed for those who are triple vaccinated and show negative results.

Lauren, from Dennistoun, said: "I hadn't looked at the petition for a few days and when I did, I was so shocked.

"It has been growing and growing - we definitely did not expect this when we started it two weeks ago.

"There is still a bit of fear that it will lose momentum and that we have got as far as we can with it.

"My sister and I are trying to spend as much time with Callum as we can right now, but we won't be giving up on this."

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon admits 'cruel' Covid practice on mental health wards in Scotland must be reviewed

Callum was admitted to the Royal Gartnavel one year ago after struggling to cope with the death of the siblings' mother. 

The 29-year-old survived a tragic car crash that killed his mum, caused by a drunk driver. 

His sisters say that his prospects of living a long, happy and healthy life have been stunted due to repeated isolation periods.  

Currently, health guidance in hospitals requires patients to isolate for 10 full days if another person on the ward tests positive for the virus.

But, in the community, Scots only need to isolate for seven days if they are found to be a close contact. The family wants to see this rule change reflected in mental health wards.

The family's fight was raised with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon by local MSP Paul Sweeney in Holyrood last week. 

Ms Sturgeon admitted that while medics carry out difficult decisions to keep patients safe, the "cruel" practice must be reviewed. 

Glasgow Times: MSP Paul SweeneyMSP Paul Sweeney

She said: "Nobody is being cruel or seeking to be cruel in these decisions. 

"They are difficult decisions that have a difficult impact on the patients and their families.

"I absolutely agree that the human rights and the wellbeing of patients, particularly long-term patients, is absolutely paramount."

Ms Sturgeon assured that Health Secretary Humza Yousaf would look directly into the family's case before "further reflections".

But, Mr Sweeney argued that the pledge was "cold comfort" for those in a similar position to Callum.

The Labour representative said: "It’s incredibly encouraging to see Callum’s case gain so much public support, and his family deserves a huge amount of credit for their commitment and perseverance in the face of continued adversity.

“I have written to the First Minister and the Health Secretary after raising Callum’s case in the Scottish Parliament last week and welcome the fact that a review is underway.

"However, that is cold comfort to those like Callum who are continuing to face these cruel restrictions, so we need the government to intervene urgently.

“My office will continue to support Callum’s family in whatever way we can but the best way to solve this is simple – an unequivocal commitment that those in long-term care have a right to physical interaction with their loved ones.

"It really is that simple, and I truly hope that the Scottish Government will act immediately to rectify the damage that has already been done.”

Glasgow Times:

Lauren added: "We're hanging fire on our next steps until we hear back from Ms Sturgeon and Mr Yousaf.

"But, first and foremost, we really hope that this policy and guidance in psychiatric hospitals is changed. 

"The rules are that contact is kept in place if it causes stress to go without, we were told Callum was not stressed enough. 

"I feel that they shouldn't be assessing levels of stress to make this decision. 

"We won't give up on this until we are confident that Callum and other people won't be put through this again."

The Scottish Government said it could not comment on individual cases.

A spokesperson said: “While we cannot comment on individual cases, where there is an outbreak in hospital, we expect essential visits to continue. This includes the care of a patient with a mental health issue, where the absence of a visitor would cause distress."

View the family's petition by visiting HERE.