Coronavirus: “The Royals visited my father’s retirement home but I couldn’t”

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spoke to residents during their visit to Shire Hall Care Home in Cardiff


One man said it was ‘overwhelming’ to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit a nursing home where his father lives before his family were allowed to do so.

The royal couple visited the Shire Hall Care Home in Cardiff on Wednesday.

Rhys Thomas said he was told he would not be able to see his father, former Assembly member Owen John Thomas, until Friday after a caregiver tested positive.

The nursing home said Mr Thomas’ father and other isolated people were not part of the visit.

Mr Thomas said he accepted the “very good” nursing home’s apology.

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Rhys ab Owen

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Owen John Thomas, pictured left, with his wife Sian and their children Manon and Rhys


Mr Thomas said he had not seen his father, who suffers from dementia and has been in the care home for 18 months, since the beginning of July.

“It’s a little upsetting that we can’t go but the Royal Family is allowed to go and play bingo,” he told BBC Wales.

“We didn’t know about it in advance. Maybe the care home didn’t know that ahead of time, so I’m not criticizing not knowing. ”

While he said he understood the benefits of the visit to “boost morale”, Mr. Thomas said she was “a little callous”.

“I’m happy with the house – they provide very, very good care,” he explained.

“I sent an email complaining and got two phone calls from the nursing home today trying to explain. I accept their apologies.

“It has nothing to do with being against the visit per se – some people of a certain generation would have appreciated that. “

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Prince William and Catherine spoke to nursing home staff and residents


Mr Thomas said he will not be able to see his father until Tuesday as he has to be away for five days.

“But of course, we don’t know if the nursing home will be locked again,” he added.

“Looks like I could have gone on Wednesday, but the Duke and Duchess were there. ”

He said that with his father’s illness “every moment is precious,” especially with the coronavirus pandemic.

Shire Hall Care Home said the visitor suspension only applied to one community in the home.

He said the dementia community at home had been Covid-19 free for 28 days on Tuesday but, since it took time to arrange visits as directed, he wrote to all concerned parents the previous day to let them know that they could start facilitating outdoor tours. Thursday.

Mr. Thomas stated that he had not received this correspondence.

Correspondence between the local authority and the head of the care home, seen by the BBC, indicates that the 28-day visitor-free period ended on Wednesday. This has also been confirmed by Public Health Wales.

The nursing home said, “We understand the importance of the bond between residents and their loved ones and have worked hard to develop innovative ways to keep them in touch throughout this difficult time.

He said the whole house had now been coronavirus-free for 28 days and home visits had resumed for all.

He added: “We would like to thank the loved ones for their support during this difficult time. ”

The royal family declined to comment and referred the BBC to the nursing home.

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