An independent analysis of the consultation found those who responded were “almost unanimously” in agreement with the proposal.
Care home residents and those with a friend or relative in a care home shared stories of the emotional cost and loss they had experienced due to restrictions on visiting introduced to reduce the risk of infection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The consultation also found widespread support for plans to strengthen the Health and Social Care Standards to help care home residents to maintain connections with family and friends while Anne’s Law is put in place.
More than 400 responses were received to the two part consultation on Anne’s Law and strengthening the Health and Social Care standards.
Responses came from individuals and from organisations including care home providers, local authorities, academics, third sector organisations, and family representative groups.
The Scottish Government is already working with care home providers to promote the aims of Anne’s Law by upholding current guidance, which states that visiting should be supported even during outbreaks, unless in exceptional circumstances.
Minister for Social Care Kevin Stewart said:
“I understand the distress caused by protections which were introduced to help limit the risk of COVID-19 infections in our care homes, which in some cases led to people being unable to be with loved ones for prolonged periods.
“While it was vital we took steps to protect people living in care homes, I also understand why many residents and those close to them feel there should be a right to visits from designated loved ones in future.
“Visits from loved ones have many benefits for residents, improving their quality of life and mental, emotional and physical health and well-being.
“Family members can often help in providing aspects of people’s care and support.
“I am extremely grateful to everyone who took the time to submit a response to the consultation.
“The views of those who responded are now helping to shape the new Standards and the legislation, work on which is well underway.
“We are about to update and strengthen the Health and Social Care Standards, with a strong emphasis on helping residents and their families remain connected.
“While Anne’s Law will be introduced to Parliament as soon as is practically possible, we are taking immediate action to ensure that care home residents and their families can benefit from its aims and principles right now.”