Ensuring Rights of Care Home Residents

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Views Sought on Best Way to Introduce ‘Anne’s Law’

The public are to be asked for their views on the best way to support people who live in adult care homes to maintain connections with family and friends.

A five-week consultation is to be held on introducing Anne’s Law – to ensure people who live in adult care homes have rights to direct contact with those who are important to them, in order to support their health and wellbeing.

The Scottish Government is seeking to explore a range of legal and practical considerations in order to make sure any changes brought in are effective. These include how the new legislation will affect the competing rights and needs of others, including other care home residents and staff.

The consultation follows a commitment to deliver Anne’s Law made by the Scottish Government in its ‘Fairer, Greener Scotland: Programme for Government 2021-22’, launched on 7 September. It builds on a  programme of work to enable people living in adult care homes to maintain family and friendship connections. This includes strengthening the Health and Social Care Standards, and a consultation was launched on 16 September seeking views on ways to do this.

Graeme:

I welcome the fact that the Scottish Government is seeking views on the best way to go about making these changes.

It is very important that we do ensure the rights of care home residents where their access to family and friends is concerned.

I would encourage all those with an interest here in Angus to contribute to the consultation.

Social Care Minister Kevin Stewart:

Social connections and meaningful activity are important for the wellbeing and quality of life of people living in adult care homes. For many residents, family members or friends also play a vital role in their care, complementing the support provided by care home staff.

The Scottish Government is committed to bringing in Anne’s Law to  ensure people who live in adult care homes have rights to see and spend time with those who are important to them.

It is important that we hear views and suggestions on the proposals to achieve this so that we do it in the best possible way.  We want to hear from as many people as possible to help shape the proposals – including people who live in adult care homes, their families and friends, care home providers and staff and a wide range of other stakeholders.

Natasha Hamilton from Care Home Relatives Scotland – daughter of South Lanarkshire care home resident Anne Duke after whom Anne’s Law is named:

We are very pleased to hear that the consultation for Anne’s Law is getting underway. The pandemic has caused great suffering for residents and relatives and has really taken its toll on people’s mental and physical wellbeing.

We have always believed that even during outbreaks, nominated carers such as husbands, wives, parents , sons and daughters should be enabled to spend time with their loved ones just as staff do. We sincerely hope legislation can be enacted that recognises the importance of family life for people in care and the need for personal connection and touch.

Background:

Anne’s Law: proposals for adults living in care homes to maintain family and friendship connections  – Scottish Government – Citizen Space (consult.gov.scot)

Consultation responses need to be submitted before the closing date of Monday 2 November. This is to align with work on developing the National Care Service Bill (NCS), a possible mechanism for Anne’s Law.