SOCIAL CARE: Giving care home residents the right to see and spend time with those who are important to them

By Lucy Ashton
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 be able to have direct contact with people 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 made by the Scottish Government in the Fairer, Greener Scotland: Programme for Government 2021-22, which was launched on 7 September, to deliver Anne’s Law. 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.

Social Care Minister Kevin Stewart, left, said:  “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.”

Anne’s Law is named after Anne Duke who lives in a care home in South Lanarkshire. Her daughter Natasha Hamilton, from Care Home Relatives Scotland, said:

“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.”

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

Leave a Reply