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Human rights’ inquiry calls for stronger rights for care home visitors

Stronger rights for care home visitors forms a key part of the recommendations of a new report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

In its latest report – Protecting human rights in care settings – committee members call on Government to secure the right for care users to nominate at least one individual to visit and provide care and support, subject to the same infection prevention and control rules as care staff.

Additionally, the CQC must make compliance with visiting restrictions a key consideration when undertaking its regulatory and monitoring roles.

Other recommendations in the report include to strengthen, clarify and streamline complaints mechanisms that relate to care settings.

In addition:

  • Service users, relatives and representatives should have stronger rights in relation preventing inappropriate use of DNACPR notices
  • Providers should understand responsibilities under Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) Government must commit to a full timetable for the implementation of its replacement, Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS)
  • Protections of the Human Rights Act should apply to all those accessing care in regulated settings – not only when the care is local authority funded or arranged
  • Staff receive specific training on human rights.

In its submission to the inquiry, the National Care Forum highlighted the need to balance competing rights, such as between an individual and the rights of the collective group living and working in a care service during the pandemic.

Professor Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the NCF said:  “Various reports show the impact of what a lack of a human rights approach has on individuals using social care. It is important that the government has a much broader consideration of the human rights approach in social care and beyond. This is all the more important in light of the government’s intention to replace the Human Rights Act with a Bill of Rights – we need to ensure the rights of people accessing care or working in it, are protected.”

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