POLITICS: jackie baillie seeks apology from new minister for care homes

Jackie Baillie MSP and Care Homes Minister Kevin Stewart.

By Democrat reporter

Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie  is seeking an apology from Kevin Stewart, the Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care – the person to whom the poisoned chalice of dealing with care homes has been passed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – asking him to correct the Official Report” following his inaccurate response to an urgent question that was asked last week”.

Ms Baillie said: “The minister, in responding to my supplementary question about whether patients had been risk assessed under health and safety legislation, stated that the unlawful transfer of patients from hospitals to care homes without the conducting of risk assessments had already been looked into by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland as part of its report on authority to discharge.

“I wrote to ask the Mental Welfare Commission whether that was the case, and here is an extract from its response: ‘Our report does not focus on health and safety legislation or the risk assessments you refer to; this is not an area which has been investigated by the Mental Welfare Commission’.

“Accuracy matters in Parliament. I am sure that the mistake was inadvertent so, on the basis that the Mental Welfare Commission did not consider the issue, will the minister apologise to Parliament for misleading it and correct the Official Report?”

The new presiding officer, Alison Johnstone, commented: “I am not responsible for the accuracy of members’ contributions in the chamber. However, the member will also be aware that a corrections mechanism is available to members, and the guidance on that mechanism sets out the steps that a member should take if they realise that they have provided incorrect information, as well as the steps to take if they consider that another member has provided incorrect information.”

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