Joy as care home residents in Skegness are allowed to hold hands with visitors

This is the moment that changed everything for residents at a care home in Skegness.

An emotional moment at Syne Hills Residential Home in Skegness as John Epton hold the hand of his 101-year-old mum, Mary Clarke.
An emotional moment at Syne Hills Residential Home in Skegness as John Epton hold the hand of his 101-year-old mum, Mary Clarke.

After months of only seeing relatives behind screens due to Covid-19 restrictions, 101-year-old Mary Clarke was finally able to hold the hand of her son, John Epton.

John visited his mum at Syne Hills Residential Home on Monday and agreed to take a lateral flow test as part of the guidelines to keep the risk of infection to a minimum.

Another visitor said she had been waiting such a long time to hold her mother's hand.

Being able to hold hands is a milestone moment at care homes.

In tears, Judith Harland, said the visit was "wonderful" and mum Lily Ramsden, 91, said: "Lovely, just lovely."

Cheryl Curtis, care home co-ordinator, described it as the first milestone in the Government's road map back to normality.

"It means we were able to facilitate less restrictive visits where family can sit together and hold hands without a dividing screen," she said.

"Although this is an important step as we progress carefully forwards, our families have understood the importance of being patent and ensuring that we are keeping the risk of infection to a minimum.

Care home manager Hayley Peace helping visitor John Epton with his lateral flow test.

"With the support of providing these close contact visits with a lateral flow test before each visit, this rapid 30-minute test means that along with our existing infection control prevention measures, we are doing all we can to keep our residents, visitors and staff as safe as possible."

John Epton agreed being able to touch his mum after such a long time was an emotional moment. "It's lovely to have this closeness back," he said.

Syne HIlls has had to recruit new staff to help facilitate these necessary changes and ensure that visiting goes smoothly and safely along with meeting government guidance.

Judith Harland (right) finally gets to hold hands with her mum, Lily Ramsden, 91.