Your readers may be among those who have already supported Alzheimer’s Society’s campaign and written to their MP urging to keep lateral flow tests free for care home visitors.

As the Government’s ‘Living with Covid’ plan comes into force (Friday 1 April), all Covid rules, including guidance on self-isolation, are dropped.

A recent poll by Alzheimer’s Society revealed that 66% of people in the South West were against the scrapping of free tests for care home visitors. Only 21% supported the plans.

Now, over 175 supporters in Dorset, and over 1,225 across the South West, have written to their MP, echoing calls from Alzheimer’s Society to ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, to urgently rethink the decision and keep free testing for care home visitors.

With some high street shops now charging up to £12 for a pack of five tests, families are facing costs of up to £733 a month to be able to visit their loved ones in care homes safely. Our Dementia Connect support line (0333 150 3456) has heard from families concerned about paying for tests amid a cost of living crisis.

The Government must recognise the disproportionate impact paying for tests will have and although it was announced a small number of care home visitors providing close personal care, will continue to get free tests, we feel this doesn’t go nearly far enough to allow everyone to visit safely.

People with dementia have already experienced the devastating consequences of the pandemic and were worst hit, with more than 30,000 dying of Covid-19 – many of whom were in care homes.

With over 14,950 people living with dementia across Dorset, families should not be financially penalised for trying to keep their loved ones safe.

Support Alzheimer’s Society’s campaign to keep lateral flow tests free for care home visitors at

Kelly Inwood

Area Manager for Alzheimer’s Society, Dorset