Alex Cole-Hamilton calls for action to protect care home residents

In his first act after swearing in as a member of the Scottish Parliament, Liberal Democrat MSP for Edinburgh Western Alex Cole-Hamilton tabled a motion calling for the installation of thermostatic cut out valves in care homes across Scotland.

Mr Cole-Hamilton tabled his motion after speaking with the family of Nicola Jones, a 35 year old Kirkliston care home resident who received burns to 42 % of her body after being placed in a bath of scalding water in 2013 when a thermostat failed.

Ms Jones’ parents have called for care homes to be fitted with secondary thermostatic cut out valves, which would provide an extra safeguard against human error and the sort of thermostat failure which occurred in their daughter's case.

Commenting, Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“I met Nicola’s family during the campaign and was deeply affected by their story. This is an accident that should not have happened. The horrific injuries that Nicola suffered were avoidable.

“This is not the first time that an accident of this sort has happened. But unless we take action now it will not be the last. You cannot legislate for human error or technical failures. But we can ensure that safety nets are in place to protect care home residents. That is what thermostatic cut out valves offer.

“This is urgent and that is why my first act as an MSP is to press the government to act.

“Ministers must to look closely at the case for bringing forward regulations to require care homes to introduce secondary thermostatic valves. This simple change could help save lives.”

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