Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

18th January 2017

Baths in the middle of the night?

Is it legal to give residents bed baths after midnight and before 5am in a care home ?


There is no specific law relating to giving a bed bath during the night, however ...


I am as always surprised to receive this kind of question.


It is the most appalling practice, except in exceptional cases. Exceptional cases could be if there was a real need due to incontinence, health and safety, or service user preference.


Consider the KLOE's. Is it Safe? Is it Effective? Is it Caring? Is it Responsive? Is it Well-Led?


Even if the person does not have mental capacity or the ability to understand what is happening, you should question:


  • If they did have capacity would they consent to being bathed in the middle of the night?
  • Would their family consent?
  • Is this abuse in its widest sense?
  • Where is the dignity?
  • Is this person-centred care or is it care provided for the convenience of the service?


Finally, I believe that if CQC knew about this they would undertake an immediate full inspection of the service.


Best wishes.


*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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