Championing the rights of people living in residential care- News from Equality and Human Rights Commison

Championing the rights of people living in residential care

From the early days of the pandemic response, we’ve been vocal when we’ve seen threats to equality and potential breaches of human rights. One issue we have been particularly concerned to highlight is the restrictions placed on care home residents having visits from loved ones.

In October we published a briefing advising Government, regulators, local authorities and care providers to take urgent action to put equality and human rights laws at the heart of the COVID response. We’ve repeatedly advised that blanket bans on visits to care homes should be replaced by individual risk assessments, which consider the full range of human rights of care home residents and take account of differing circumstances.

We wanted to put a human face on this issue, which is why we’ve produced a series of short videos sharing the stories of some residents and their families. Our short films show not only the difficulties that families have faced but also the ways in which, despite challenging circumstances, some care homes have found innovative ways for residents to still spend time with their loved ones.

We were pleased that the Government recently changed its visiting guidance in England to allow meaningful, safe visits from one visitor from 8th March. But we can’t be complacent that everyone will follow this guidance. We need adequate PPE and regular COVID-19 testing to make this a reality for everyone.

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