MWC raise concerns over care home discharges in Scotland amid coronavirus (COVID-19)

MWC raise concerns over care home discharges in Scotland amid coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Mental Welfare Commission (MWC) has published a report on decision making relating to Authority to Discharge in Scottish hospitals where capacity was lacking during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The report analysed 457 individual cases that took place from March to May 2020 using data provided by every Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) in Scotland. Of this sample, the Commission found 20 manifestly unlawful moves caused by misinterpretations of law, and confusion regarding powers of attorney. The Commission made eleven recommendations to the HSCPs based upon its findings.

The Commission has reported that while the pandemic caused significant pressures, areas for improvement are not exclusively a result of coronavirus. The Commission made 11 recommendations to address systemic issues in HSCPs to uphold safeguarding of vulnerable adults:

• undertake internal analyses to identify lacunas in knowledge of capacity assessment, deprivation of liberty and human rights of individuals

• establish a system for recording when, where and by whom a capacity assessment has taken place and what effect it will have

• ensure that staff who handle hospital discharges understand the status of registered home care placements and the financial and welfare consequences of different types of placements

• preserve documents detailing the powers as evidence for acting on behalf of individuals who have been assessed as lacking capacity

• ensure capacity assessments are undertaken in such a way that the needs and considerations of each individual are taken into account

• auditing processes should be established to examine the legality of hospital discharges for adults lacking capacity

• auditing processes should extend to ensure evidence exists to show that decisions are taken in an inclusive manner, with as much contribution from the concerned individual as possible  

• Strong leadership and expertise should support operational discharge teams

• the Care Inspectorate should make use of the Commission’s report regarding the use of section 13ZA of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 and consider improvements to make in relation to this

• the Care Inspectorate should utilise the broader findings of the Commission’s report to identify improvements in services for adults

• the Scottish Government should ensure the delivery of the recommendations

The full report can be viewed here.

Source: Moves from hospitals to care homes during the pandemic – new report finds wider concerns over

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