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Poor home care breaches human rights


Research of the Equality and Human Rights Commission reported today is throwing the spotlight on care in the home after weeks of attention given to residential care problems.

Yet again the inadequacies of a system that puts cost above care are grabbing the headlines.

One of the most worrying aspects of the research undertaken by the Commission is that 1 in 5 of the respondents to the Commissions call for information said that they felt unable to complain about their situation either because they feared repercussions or did not know how to make their complaint heard.

In a population where increasing numbers of people live alone and a significant proportion are elderly it is vital that access to information, advice and support for the individual is available.

The move to commoditise legal services by big business will not help the lonely and vulnerable to fight for their rights. That type of personal, individual support delivered in the community is where niche law specialists excel and must be allowed to continue to do so if the rights of individuals are to be protected. Access to professional advice and support delivered in the community helps to empower people and enable them to feel that they are not alone and without support.

The Commission will examine what protection and support is available for people who want to expose poor or abusive practices. Some legislation and regulation is in place already but it relies on whistle-blowing. Lawyers who specialise in elderly and vulnerable persons issues and healthcare law can support individuals to make their complaints heard and receive protection from repercussions.

Planning the management of old age involves not only financial and property issues but also consideration of the type and quality of care and its method of delivery. The sooner that such planning begins the better chance there is of getting the quality of care you need.