Emotional MP On Fears She Will Be 'Separated Indefinitely' From Mother With Dementia

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  • Liz Saville Roberts
    Welsh politician, first female Plaid Cymru MP
Liz Saville Roberts, the Plaid Cymru leader at Westminster. (Photo: Parliament.tv)
Liz Saville Roberts, the Plaid Cymru leader at Westminster. (Photo: Parliament.tv)

An emotional MP has raised fears that she will be separated from her mother “indefinitely” after she was diagnosed with dementia.

Liz Saville Roberts, the Plaid Cymru leader at Westminster, revealed her mother was diagnosed with the disease just before Christmas.

She told Boris Johnson she fears being separated from her because of covid restrictions on visiting.

The MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd was visibly upset and at points struggled to speak.

Her question silenced the Commons after a particularly rambunctious prime minister’s questions in which Johnson went toe to toe with Labour’s Angela Rayner.

Saville Roberts told the Commons: “My mother, Dr Nancy Saville, was diagnosed with dementia just before Christmas, she had a stroke a year ago.

“I was called to sit with her in hospital on Monday because of the Covid staff shortage, but I fear that myself like many constituents in similar circumstances are likely to be separated indefinitely when she is moved into an EMI nursing home.

“John’s Campaign has successfully campaigned in every UK nation that people disabled by dementia have a special need for person-centred care - and that’s under the Equality Act 2010.

“But, in reality, there remain many care homes and hospitals [where] even the most minimal visits can be denied - leading to isolation and separation which cause irreversible damage to wellbeing.

“Does he agree with me that the human rights of disabled people, sick people and the elderly are not fair-weather luxuries and that everyone with dementia, wherever they live has the right to family life.”

The prime minister extended his sympathies to Saville Roberts and added: “I’m sure that the whole house and everybody who’s listened will have shared her feelings and simply wish to extend their condolences in view of her mother’s current condition.

“I know how her feelings must be exacerbated by the difficulties that so many people up and down the country are facing because of the restrictions we’re having to put on care homes and I sympathise deeply.”

He said they have to try “strike a balance” while keeping care home residents safe from the pandemic.

“We continue to allow three nominated visitors to care homes and there should be no limit to the duration of those visits,” he added.

“But I understand the particular distress and anxiety that [Saville Roberts’] circumstances are causing and can I suggest that she has a meeting as soon as it can be arranged with the secretary of state for Health.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.


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