Introduce legislation through the National Care Service Bill
11. Based on initial feedback from stakeholders and families, the Scottish Government considers that Anne's Law should provide people who live in adult care homes with the right to see and spend time with a named visitor or visitors who will have the same access rights to care homes as staff to enable this, while following stringent infection control procedures. The Scottish Government therefore proposes that the overall aim of Anne's Law is to ensure residents in care homes can spend time with those who are important to them in order to support their health and wellbeing.
12. As noted above, the Scottish Government considers that legislative provisions on Anne's Law could be included in the National Care Service (NCS) Bill for which a consultation is currently underway. The creation of an NCS was recommended by the Independent Review of Adult Social Care. The NCS will have a responsibility for planning services and setting standards, with Scottish Ministers being responsible for social care and support. Ahead of the development of the draft NCS bill, the Scottish Government wishes to seek views on the aims of, and proposed approach for, delivering Anne's Law. This will help to confirm whether the National Care Service Bill is the best vehicle for achieving the aims and aspirations of Anne's Law.
13. Introducing legislation takes time. The Scottish Government is keen to do what it can in the meantime to support this commitment. As noted above, the Scottish Government is therefore also consulting on proposals to strengthen the Health and Social Care Standards to enable people in adult care homes to see and spend time with their loved ones. The consultation can be found here: https://consult.gov.scot/pandemic-response/annes-law
14. The Standards set out what people should expect when experiencing health, social care or social work services in Scotland. Expanding the concept of Anne's Law into the Standards would allow immediate work to commence in supporting this commitment.
15. There is a range of legal and practical considerations in developing Anne's Law. For example we must carefully consider how any new legislation will interact with the need to protect residents, staff and the wider public from the risk of serious infection, whilst at the same time considering human rights and equality implications.
16. Proposals to implement Anne's Law will also aim to allow for an individualised approach where possible, ensuring that the competing needs and rights of individuals are assessed on a case by case basis and the particular circumstances of the care home setting are taken into account.
17. Another consideration is the scope of Anne's Law. The proposals outlined above are intended for adult care homes registered with the Care Inspectorate. However, there are other similar settings, such as supported accommodation and wider care homes which may merit a similar approach
18. The Scottish Government would welcome views on these and any other considerations.