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.

11th October 2017

Should a Care Home Send a Person with Dementia to Hospital Unaccompanied?

Should a care home send someone with DoLs (dementia) in place unaccompanied to hospital or should they send a member of staff until family can get there?


Dear R,


I believe that someone living in a care home who has dementia should never be sent to hospital unaccompanied.


I know that this can be a real challenge at some times of the day for a care home but this is one of those questions which is best answered whilst applying one of the CQC Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care's questions relating to what would be fit for her Mother. So what would you think would be correct for one of your close relatives?


You are clearly referring to an emergency visit to hospital and it is difficult to imagine that anyone with dementia who has a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) authorisation in place would not be frightened and anxious, at the very least, without someone that is familiar with them.


This may place additional pressure on your service in the short term and it is possible that if a regulator visited on such an occasion that they might raise questions about staffing levels.


It is my opinion that having heard the situation that they should think that it is the best of practice to send someone to the hospital with the "patient" especially if you are taking steps to rectify the situation as quickly as possible.


I hope this is helpful. Please come back to me again if you have a particular case that you are concerned about.


With 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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