Strengthening the Health and Social Care Standards
11. We are proposing to strengthen the Health and Social Care Standards to enable people who live in adult care homes to have rights to see and spend time with the people who are important to them. The Health and Social Care Standards set out what people should expect when experiencing health, social care or social work services in Scotland. The Standards are used by services and support organisations as a guideline for how to achieve high quality care. They are also taken into account by the Care Inspectorate, in relation to registration and inspection of care services. Strengthening the Standards around ensuring that people can spend time with their loved ones would allow regulators to refocus certain inspections practices in support of the wishes of care home residents and their nominated family or friends.
12. There are many Standards which already contain references to connection with loved ones (see below). However, the Scottish Government is proposing that one or more new standards will be required to strengthen the rights of residents to choose and see someone to support them in their wellbeing. Adding a new Standard would allow immediate work to support the commitment to strengthen residents’ rights in adult residential settings as part of Anne’s Law.
1.10 I am supported to participate fully as a citizen in my local community in the way that I want.
2.18 I am supported to manage my relationships with my family, friends or partner in a way that suits my wellbeing.
2.19 I am encouraged and supported to make and keep friendships, including with people my own age.
2.22 I can maintain and develop my interests, activities and what matters to me in the way that I like.
5.15 If I am an adult living in a care home I can choose to see visitors in private and plan for a friend, family member or my partner to sometimes stay over.
Potential options for new Standard(s)
Following an initial review of the Standards, we have proposed a number of potential options:
a) If I am an adult living in a care home, I can nominate a named visitor (and substitutes) who I am able to see and spend time with to support my health and wellbeing which meets my needs and preferences.
b) If I am an adult living in a care home, I can nominate a named visitor (and substitutes) who I am able to see and spend time with at any time to support my health and wellbeing which meets my needs and preferences.
c) If I am an adult living in a care home and visiting restrictions are needed to prevent infection, my named visitor (and substitutes) are supported by the service to continue to see and spend time with me, as long as it is safe .
d) If I am an adult living in a care home and visiting restrictions are needed to prevent infection, my named visitor (and substitutes) are supported by the service to be fully involved in supporting my health and wellbeing at any time.
13. The Scottish Government would welcome views on these options and any alternative suggestions.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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
17. The Scottish Government would welcome views on these and any other considerations.