26 Nov 2013

Ask your MP to ensure people in care homes have their rights respected

A campaign launched by BIHR is seeking Human Rights Protections in care homes - see the details here: http://www.bihr.org.uk/news/human-rights-protections-in-care-homes

There is a grey area about the application of the Human Rights Act in some care situations. I've written to my MP adapting the campaign's letter to share my concerns with Neil Carmichael MP - see below - those of you reading this may also wish to write?

Dear Neil,

I am asking you to support Clause 48 in the Care Bill which will make sure everyone using regulated social care will have access to the protections of the Human Rights Act. This clause was recently inserted into the Care Bill following a debate in the House of Lords.

I believe Clause 48 is important because it will provide a vital safety net for us all, making sure when we use care services there is protection from inhuman and degrading treatment and that rights to privacy and family life are respected. All people receiving care services should have these protections. There have been too many public scandals about failures in our care services, such as Winterborne View.

Gloucestershire Safeguarding Adult's Board received 61 per cent more reports from worried residents in 2012/13 compared to the previous year - and I understand there is a new case in Cheltenham where residents may not have been looked after properly.

Without Clause 48 there are protection gaps. At the moment you can have two people living in neighbouring rooms at a private care home, but because their care has been arranged or is paid for differently, one person’s human rights are protected and the others may not be. 

I think being clear that services should respect and protect our most basic human rights is important in helping prevent abuse and neglect in care services. Of course, other things also need to happen to make sure care is dignified and respectful, but I think the starting point should be making sure everyone knows the Human Rights Act protects people using care services however they are arranged or paid for.

Sadly the Government is not supporting this proposal, because they say it is not necessary, but I think the high-profile scandals in our care system show why Clause 48 is vital.

As my MP, I would like you to speak up for Clause 48 during the House of Commons debate on the Care Bill, and if necessary to vote in favour of keeping Clause 48. I’d be grateful if you could please contact me to tell me whether you will support this important amendment.

Kind regards, Philip Booth,

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