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By Debbie le Quesne

Human Rights Act now to include care at home

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Those receiving state-funded care in their own homes will now be given additional protection by the Human Rights Act.

Government ministers have agreed to the move following pressure from the Liberal Democrat side of the coalition.

An amendment to the care bill in the Lords will be tabled to make sure the Human Rights Act covers people receiving care in their own home, whether from the state or a private body under contract to the state. However, it will not apply to self-funded, privately provided care.

The announcement, which I applaud, comes after a six-month campaign by pressure groups for elderly people, as well as by the Lib Dems.

Let me quote a national newspaper: “The issue of protecting vulnerable elderly people has been pushed back and forth between the Commons and the Lords, with the Ministry of Justice arguing that previous case law did not mean there was any ambiguity about the extent to which human rights legislation covered state-funded social care.

“There has been cross-party pressure to extend the protection of the act beyond those currently covered – mainly those receiving care in care homes.”

Previous Liberal Democrat care minister, Paul Burstow, led the charge against the Conservative stance, to ensure that people who receive care in their own homes should be covered by the Human Rights Act.

It makes a lot of sense to me . . .Why on earth should people’s rights be lost for having care delivered into their homes!

The change of heart has been welcomed by Age Concern and the Labour Party and no doubt a raft of other organisations too.

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