Adult care homes: strengthening Health and Social Care Standards

Closed 2 Nov 2021

Opened 16 Sep 2021

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


This consultation seeks your views on the Scottish Government’s proposals for strengthening the Health and Social Care Standards to enable people living in adult care homes to maintain family and friendship connections to support their health and wellbeing. These proposals form part of work to take forward Anne’s Law, ensuring that people who live in adult care homes have rights to see and spend time with the people who are important to them. A second consultation on proposals for delivering Anne’s Law will be published shortly.

Throughout the pandemic, our overriding priority in care homes has been to safeguard and protect staff and residents from the very high health risks of Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection but, at times, that meant that residents were cut off from their loved ones. This caused anguish for many.

Within the Fairer, Greener Scotland: Programme for Government 2021-22, which was launched on 7 September, a commitment was made to deliver Anne’s Law. It aims to strengthen residents’ rights in adult residential settings and give nominated relatives or friends the same access rights to care homes as staff while following stringent infection control procedures, as called for by Care Home Relatives Scotland.

Social connections and meaningful activity are important for the wellbeing and quality of life of people living in care homes. One of the main drivers for updating the Standards is a recognition that families and friends play an essential role in the health and wellbeing of people who live in care homes (in terms of both practical and emotional support). For many residents, family members and friends play a vital role in their care, complementing the support provided by care home staff. Prolonged isolation from family and friends is likely to be detrimental to the welfare of the resident. 

The Scottish Government is proposing that legislation will be required to cement the rights of residents to see friends and family. Introducing legislation takes time and the Scottish Government is keen to do what it can in the meantime to support this commitment. We are therefore proposing to strengthen the Health and Social Care standards in support of the commitment.

Read the Health and Social Care Standards.

The Standards set out what people should expect when experiencing health, social care or social work services in Scotland.

This consultation seeks views on ways to strengthen the Standards to ensure that people are able to spend time with their loved ones especially in times of crisis or emergency.

Read the consultation paper

Consultation events 

We are hosting a series of workshops where we will seek views on ways in which the standards can be strengthened.

If you would like to join, please register your interest at one of the workshops below.

If you require a British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreter, this will be available at the 29th September workshop.

29th September 2021, 3:30-5:00pm: Click here to register 

1st October 2021, 11:00-12:30pm: Click here to register 

19th October 2021, 10:00-11:30am: Click here to register 

Why your views matter

Under Section 50 of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010, Scottish Ministers can put in place standards applicable to care and social work.  There is a statutory duty on the Scottish Ministers to consult with any persons whom they consider appropriate before they publish new  Standards. 

It is important that we hear views and suggestions on ways to strengthen the Standards so that we do it in the best possible way.

A four week period has been proposed for the consultation and we are inviting responses until Tuesday 2 November.  This is because we wish to support early implementation of new Standards ahead of any proposed legislation in support of Anne’s Law.

Easy Read versions of the consultation paper and respondent information form and questions are available on the Scottish Government website.

A British Sign Language version of this consultation is now available.



Other accessible formats are available upon request. To request those, please email:

If you require a paper copy to be sent to you, please email us or call our automated phone service on 0300 244 6600 and leave a message. 


  • Health and Social Care