Anne's Law and Health and Social Care Standards consultations: analysis of the responses

An analysis of the Scottish Government's public consultation on its proposals for introducing Anne's Law and for changes to the Health and Social Care Standards

Appendix 1: Summary of consultation events: Strengthening the Health and Social Care Standards


Three workshop events were held with staff and providers to consider the proposals under Part 1 of the Anne's Law consultation between 30th September and 19th October 2021. There were 44 participants in total at these events.The events have been recorded in note form so it is not possible to attribute different perspectives to different categories or numbers of participant but, as with the written consultation, there was broad agreement across the events about the need to strengthen residents' human rights.

The Health and Social Care Standards

There was a view across all three events that there is a need for clarity and that Care home staff need clear guidance. There is a particular need to avoid vague wording i.e., "as long as it is safe". There is also a need for consistency across all statutory bodies as following different sets of guidance was challenging for providers during the pandemic, including local authorities and health boards. Independent providers also need to be on board.

In one group, it was thought that there needs to be a balance between legislation and guidance and the independence of individual services. It was also thought that pressure on staff is overriding existing standards. There was a view in this group that standards need to have a clear reflection of what can be provided on the ground.

One group mentioned that the term 'visitor' should be described as someone providing meaningful contact.

The implications for residents, staff and families and friends

Strengthening the standards will give families more confidence to work with the sector to ensure they can visit when an outbreak of any infectious disease.

One group suggested that there was a need to manage expectations and that care homes required resources to manage this process. Communications to residents and families should be in Plain English and available in formats that are suitable for people with visual or hearing impairments. Funding should be available for this.

Carers need to be central to the process and should be given more of a voice

Residents should also be consulted much more. One group suggested that information, advice and decisions should be considered on the principle of "no decision about me without me". This group thought that the full set of measures, including visitors being part of the care team was very enlightened and would welcome that.

There was a view that staff wages need to be increased and there should be more funding for recruitment

Advantages and disadvantages of this approach

Overall, it was thought that greater clarity will help reduce fear amongst care staff and ultimately help them care for their residents. It will also result in happy residents and families and friends

A concern was expressed by some that nominated visitors would come to the home and refuse to follow procedures. Insurance was mentioned as an issue by two groups: if nominated visitors are like staff, would they be covered by insurance?

There was a message again around consistency and that all public health bodies need to get behind the fine detail of the standards.

Application to settings

There was a general view that family connections are important in all settings so the standards should apply to all. Day centres and housing support, at home care and sheltered housing settings were also mentioned as these were also affected during the pandemic.

Other comments

  • Independent Review of Adult Social Care should be central to the process
  • The guidance already covers connections and was applied inconsistently throughout the pandemic which has led to some cynicism in the sector
  • Guidance should be fully shared and communicated: constantly changing advice is hard for service providers to follow
  • The role of Public Health should be given consideration
  • The level of scrutiny is difficult, especially police investigations
  • Some concern over the consultation: one group commented that the questions are leading



Back to top