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Y Comisiynydd yn galw am weithredu o’r newydd er mwyn i bobl allu ymweld â chartrefi gofal yn ddiogel yng Nghymru \\ Commissioner calls for renewed action to enable safe visits to care homes in Wales

Y Comisiynydd yn galw am weithredu o’r newydd er mwyn i bobl allu ymweld â chartrefi gofal yn ddiogel yng Nghymru
Mae Comisiynydd Pobl Hŷn Cymru wedi codi pryderon ynghylch effaith gohirio ymweliadau â chartrefi gofal ar iechyd, ar lesiant ac ar ansawdd bywyd pobl hŷn. Mae hi hefyd wedi galw am weithredu er mwyn i ymweliadau allu parhau gyda mesurau priodol ar waith i sicrhau diogelwch y preswylwyr a’r staff.
Gyda chyfyngiadau lleol yn cael eu cyflwyno mewn rhagor o awdurdodau lleol yng Nghymru, mae’r Comisiynydd wedi cyhoeddi datganiad sefyllfa sy’n nodi pam bod cyswllt wyneb yn wyneb rhwng pobl hŷn sy’n byw mewn cartrefi gofal a’u hanwyliaid mor bwysig, yn enwedig i’r rheini sydd fwyaf agored i niwed, a pham y dylid penderfynu ar ymweliadau fesul achos, yn hytrach na chyflwyno penderfyniadau cyffredinol.
Mae ar y Comisiynydd eisiau i awdurdodau lleol a swyddogion iechyd y cyhoedd weithio gyda darparwyr gofal i feddwl pa gamau gellid eu cymryd i reoli’r risgiau posibl a galluogi ymweliadau i barhau’n ddiogel ar draws Cymru.
Dywedodd Heléna Herklots CBE, Comisiynydd Pobl Hŷn Cymru:
“Rwy’n gallu deall pam mae timau rheoli heintiau lleol am gymryd pob gofal sy’n angenrheidiol yn eu barn nhw i amddiffyn pobl hŷn sy’n byw mewn cartrefi gofal, a pham y gallai gwaharddiad cyffredinol ar ymweld ymddangos yn briodol o dan yr amgylchiadau presennol.
“Fodd bynnag, o ystyried yr effaith sylweddol a hirdymor y bydd atal ymweliadau yn ei chael ar iechyd a lles pobl hŷn sy’n byw mewn cartrefi gofal, rhaid inni gwestiynu a yw’r dull hwn yn gymesur ac yn gyfiawn.
“Mae’n hanfodol bod y risgiau i breswylwyr a staff y gellid trosglwyddo Covid o ganlyniad i ymweliadau yn cael eu hystyried yn erbyn y risg i bobl hŷn sy’n byw mewn cartrefi gofal os bydd eu hiechyd corfforol a meddyliol yn dirywio o ganlyniad i gael eu cadw ar wahân yn hir oddi wrth y rheini sy’n golygu’r mwyaf iddyn nhw.
“Drwy ddefnyddio dull mwy unigol, ac asesu’r risg i bobl ac i leoedd fesul achos, gallai fod cyfleoedd i alluogi ymweliadau lle’r aseswyd y gellid rheoli risgiau posibl i breswylwyr a staff drwy fesurau fel defnyddio cyfarpar diogelu personol, cadw pellter cymdeithasol a hylendid, a chynnal ymweliadau mewn mannau awyr agored.”
Mae’r datganiad cadarnhaol yn cwestiynu a fyddai cefnogaeth well i gartrefi gofal a staff, mwy o brofion, newidiadau i amgylcheddau cartrefi gofal, a chydnabod bod aelodau o’r teulu yn ‘ymwelwyr dynodedig’ – gyda mynediad at brofion, cyfarpar diogelu personol a hyfforddiant – yn gallu sicrhau dull gweithredu sy’n galluogi a fyddai’n caniatáu i ymweliadau barhau’n ddiogel.
Mae’r Comisiynydd hefyd wedi galw ar Lywodraeth Cymru ac Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru i ystyried pa gefnogaeth a chanllawiau pellach gellid eu rhoi i ddarparwyr gofal ac awdurdodau lleol er mwyn gallu cynnal ymweliadau diogel.
Ychwanegodd y Comisiynydd:
“Rwy’n gwybod bod llawer iawn o waith wedi cael ei wneud dros yr haf i gefnogi ymweliadau â chartrefi gofal, ac rwyf eisiau diolch i ddarparwyr gofal a chyrff cyhoeddus am eu hymdrechion i alluogi anwyliaid i ymweld â phobl hŷn sy’n byw mewn cartrefi gofal.
“Ond wrth i ni wynebu cyfnod o ansicrwydd pellach, mae nifer o’r bobl hŷn a’u teuluoedd rwyf wedi siarad â nhw yn poeni na fyddant efallai’n cael cyfle i dreulio amser gyda’u hanwyliaid eto.
“Er fy mod yn croesawu’r ffaith bod awdurdodau lleol wedi cadarnhau bod modd i ymweliadau barhau pan fydd unigolyn hŷn yn cyrraedd diwedd ei oes, mae hi’n hanfodol bod ymweliadau eraill yn gallu parhau pan fydd modd rheoli’r risgiau i’r preswylwyr ac i’r staff yn effeithiol.
“Wrth i ni feddwl sut byddwn yn delio â’r cyfnod anodd hwn sydd o’n blaenau, mae hi’n hanfodol bod hawliau pobl yn cael eu diogelu, eu bod yn ymwneud â phenderfyniadau sy’n effeithio arnynt, a bod y penderfyniadau sy’n cael eu gwneud yn deg ac yn gymesur.
“Drwy benderfynu ar y ffyrdd gallwn weithio gyda’n gilydd i gefnogi dull sy’n galluogi pobl i ymweld â chartrefi gofal, mae gan Gymru gyfle i arwain y ffordd a dangos ei thosturi, ei hundod a’i hymrwymiad i sicrhau bod pobl yn gallu parhau i gynnal cysylltiad â’u hanwyliaid. Rwy’n gwybod ei bod hi’n anodd gwneud hyn, ond mae’n rhywbeth a ddylai fod yn flaenoriaeth i ni fel cymdeithas.”

Commissioner calls for renewed action to enable safe visits to care homes in Wales
The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales has raised concerns about the impact of suspending care home visits on older people’s health, well-being and quality of life, and has called for renewed action to enable visits to continue with appropriate measures to ensure the safety of residents and staff.
With further local authorities in Wales heading into lockdown, the Commissioner has published a position statement, which sets out why face-to-face contact between older people living in care homes and their loved ones is so important, particularly for those who are most vulnerable, and why decisions around visiting should be taken on a case-by-case basis, rather than applying blanket decisions.
The Commissioner wants local authorities and public health officials to work with care providers to consider what steps could be taken to manage potential risks and enable visits to continue safely throughout Wales.
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:
“I can understand why local infection management teams want to take every precaution they think necessary to protect older people living in care homes, and why a blanket ban on visiting might seem appropriate under the current circumstances.
“However, given the significant and long-term impact that the suspension of visiting will have on the health and well-being of older people living in care homes, we must question whether this approach is proportionate and justified.
“It is crucial that the risks to residents and staff of potential Covid transmission due to visits are considered against the risk to older people living in care homes if their physical and mental health declines as a result of prolonged separation from those who mean most to them.
“By taking a more individualised approach, and assessing the risk for people and places on a case-by-case basis, there could be opportunities to enable visits where it has been assessed that potential risks to residents and staff could be managed, through measures such as the use of PPE, social distancing and hygiene measures, and holding visits in outdoor spaces.”
The position statement questions whether improved support for care homes and staff, increased testing, changes to care home environments, and recognising family members as ‘designated visitors’ – with access to testing, PPE and training – could ensure a more enabling approach that could allow visits to continue safely.
The Commissioner has also called on the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales to consider what further support and guidance could be provided to care providers and local authorities to enable safe visiting.
The Commissioner added:
“I know that a huge amount of work was undertaken over the summer to support care home visits, and I want to thank care providers and public bodies for the efforts they made to reunite older people living in care homes with their loved ones.
“But as we enter a period of further uncertainty, many of the older people and family members I have spoken to are worried that they may never have an opportunity to spend time with their loved ones again.
“Whilst I welcome the fact that local authorities have confirmed that visits can go ahead where an older person is reaching the end of their life, it is essential that other visits can continue where risks to residents and staff can be managed effectively.
“As we navigate the difficult path ahead of us, it is crucial that people’s rights are protected, that they are involved in decisions that affect them, and that the decisions being made are fair and proportionate.
“By determining the ways we can work together to support a more enabling approach to care home visits, Wales has an opportunity to lead the way and demonstrate its compassion, solidarity and commitment to ensuring that people can remain connected to their loved ones. I know that delivering this is challenging, but it is something that should be a priority for us as a society.”
A copy of the Commissioner’s Position Statement is attached for information.

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