ONE of the hardest things for many people during lockdown has been being separated from beloved family members stuck in hospitals or in care homes.

Now, one Oxfordshire home has come up with a very simple solution.

Sherrie Hume, manager of Stowford House Care Centre in Shippon near Abingdon, looked at ways to reunite residents with loved ones while keeping to rules on social distancing.

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She said: "As a care home manager you are constantly mindful of not just your residents' physical needs but their emotional needs too.

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"Quality of life means we must take into consideration all aspects of a person’s wellbeing.

"I made the decision to adapt the side gate of our home, as I saw it as a solution to enabling our residents and their loved ones to reconnect whilst ensuring they maintain social distancing.

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"It has given a much-needed boost to many of the residents and their families and I am a firm believer that happiness is linked to good health."

The Future Care Group, which owns the home, said staff had seen a 'significant difference' in residents' morale since the visitor’s gate was installed.