The Government has launched a public consultation on visiting in health and care settings, including care homes, acute and mental health hospitals and hospices.

The Government has launched a public consultation on visiting in health and care settings, including care homes, acute and mental health hospitals and hospices.


A link to the consultation can be found here –
A link to the easy-read version can be found here – Visiting in care homes, hospitals and hospices (easy read) – GOV.UK (

The Government wants to make sure that they hear from people with as many different perspectives as possible, including people who work in health and care settings, people who use health and care services and people with experience of visiting loved ones in health and care settings.

They would like to encourage you to consider responding to this consultation or sharing it with staff members so that your experiences are fully represented. Hearing from a full range of people with different experiences will help to make sure any changes made as a result of this consultation are well thought out and beneficial to the sector.

It is also very important that the voices and experiences of care users are captured as a part of this consultation, including those who may not be able to respond online. The Government knows that some people receiving care are likely to have difficulty accessing or responding to this consultation and would be very grateful if you or your staff would be willing to support them in this goal.

Any time and effort you or your staff can spend responding to the consultation or supporting your service users to share their valuable thoughts and experiences is greatly appreciated.

The Government would appreciate your help in:

  • Informing people you care for about the consultation and sharing the link with them.
  • Supporting people you care for to access the consultation if they are interested, for example by sitting with them and supporting them to respond.
  • Having informal discussions with service users who would not be able to access the written consultation on the topic of visiting, and capturing/sharing their responses.

Please find enclosed a short list of questions/prompts for discussions. However, the Government recognises that you will best know the communication needs and preferences of the people you care for and would be happy to receive responses recording verbal comments, Makaton signs, PECs cards or any other form of communication that the people you care for utilise.

There’s no requirement to include the service user’s details, although it would be helpful to include an indication of the person’s experience, such as what sort of setting the person lives in, and approximately how long they have received residential care, for example.

Responses of any length and covering any or all of the questions and discussion points can be sent to, along with any questions you may have.

Thank you

Questions and prompts

We have provided here a list of questions/prompts to assist care workers to have discussions with the people they care for. These are only suggestions, so please feel free to amend as is appropriate to the person’s experience and communication style. This could include offering closed response options (e.g. happy or sad), simplifying the questions or not asking all of the questions.  

  1. How do you feel when your friends/family (as appropriate) come and see you?
  1. Can you see your friends/family as often as you want to?
  1. Are there times when you want to see your friends/family but can’t? How does this make you feel?
  1. Do you know how to complain/who to complain to if you aren’t able to have visitors?
  1. (If the person has received inpatient treatment in a hospital and can recall it) Were you able to spend as much time with your friends/family as you wanted to when you were in hospital?
  1. (If the person has medical appointments etc) Would you like friends/family to be able to go with you when you see a doctor in hospital?
  1. Do you think care homes or hospitals should ever be able to stop someone visiting you? Possible reasons could be because the visitor is ill and spending time with them might make you ill too, because you don’t want to see them, or because the person wants to visit while you or people you live with are sleeping.
  1. Are you able to go out and do things you enjoy away from where you live? Is it important to you to be able to do this?
  1. Do you think it is ok for the place you live to stop you from going out to do something you want to? Reasons for this could be because you want to do something that might harm you, or because you need a care worker to help you to go out and no one can go with you.