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News


Scottish review finds ‘unlawful’ transfers of hospital patients to care homes


A review of the legality of moves of patients from hospitals to care homes in Scotland at the height of the pandemic has found vulnerable people were transferred without due consent. The report by the Mental Welfare


Commission (MWC) – Authority to discharge – into decision making for people in hospital who lack capacity – is a study of a sample of all discharges from hospitals to care homes from March to May 2020. MWC studied the detail of 457 individual


moves - representing around ten per cent of all such moves reported at the time by Public Health Scotland – looking at legal authority behind each decision to move a person who did not have capacity to decide for his or herself. The data was supplied by every Health and


Social Care Partnership in Scotland (HSCP) apart from Highland, who did not meet the timescale for the report. Of the 457 cases, MWC found unlawful


moves of 20 people across 11 HSCPs: Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Argyll and Bute, Borders, Edinburgh, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney, Shetland and West Lothian.


For some of these moves, there had been


specific pandemic-related reasons, for example, a misinterpretation that easement of the Social Work Act had been enacted as a result of the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 when in fact this legislation was never activated and was removed in September. One HSCP introduced an alternative to


applications for guardianship orders, making decisions ‘internally’ rather than recourse to the courts, the critical safeguard for individuals. This particular practice started in response to the pandemic and ended in August.


CQC takes action against dozens of care


providers on visitor ‘blanket bans’ about 37 potential blanket bans and we have taken action in every case, including following up with providers, inspecting, raising safeguarding alerts where appropriate and following up with local authorities,” said CQC chief inspector of adult social care Kate Terroni (pictured). “We expect providers to follow


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has taken action against dozens of care providers where the regulator had concerns over care home visits, including potential blanket bans. Since 8 March, the CQC has undertaken


1,282 inspections. The regulator has found 95 per cent of provider were enabling visiting to happen while action was taken with the remaining five per cent where it had outstanding concerns. “Concerns have been raised with us


government guidance on visiting where people are entitled to have designated visitors, and where we are made aware that this is not happening we will follow up with the provider and inspect if we consider that there is risk,” she added. “Where we have any evidence that this is


not happening we will continue to take action and are grateful to all those who continue to share their concerns with us.” The CQC will continue to monitor the


situation and support providers to implement the new guidance and investigate concerns when it hears about potential blanket bans as restrictions on care homes are relaxed.


June 2021 • www.thecarehomeenvironment.com MWC analysed all of the 457 cases further


to assure legal rights were respected and protected beyond the 20 clearly unlawful moves. MWC asked about the 338 moves said


to have been authorised using a Welfare Power of Attorney or Adults with Incapacity legislation. They found that those working in hospital


discharge were not always fully aware of the powers held by attorneys or guardians - this was the case in 78 out of 267 cases of power of attorney related moves - or whether the attorney’s powers had been activated or guardianship orders granted. In response, Scottish minister for mental wellbeing and social care Kevin Stewart MSP admitted Holyrood has “made mistakes” and will “learn lessons” from the pandemic in relation to care homes. “Clinicians believed that the best possible


outcomes for patients at that time was to move them out of hospital settings. That should have been done following legal process, we will look at all of that, and ensure that that does not happen again,” he said.


Ideal Carehomes ordered to pay £150,000 over attack on resident


Ideal Carehomes has been fined £140,000 and ordered to pay nearly £15,000 in costs by Nottingham Magistrates Court for failing to protect a resident from an attack in 2017. The court heard the victim suffered a


serious head injury at the Bowbridge Court care home in Newark when attacked by another resident who had Alzheimer’s. The resident who caused the injury has


been known to use frequent verbal and physical aggression, with at least 18 other incidents recorded at the care home. The Care Quality Commission (CQC),


who prosecuted the case, said concerns raised prior to the attack on the then 93- year old victim – who recovered from her injuries - had not been addressed.


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