I think I am getting a bit more random about when I decide to post to my Blog. I’ll need to get back to being a bit more consistent especially now I have new students looking at it. However today I couldn’t ignore this.
Research published on the 6th of October 2020 by the Scottish Human Rights Commission has shown that a considerable proportion of people who use social care support at home have experienced either a reduction or complete withdrawal of support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new monitoring report details how the removal of care plans during COVID-19 has had a direct and detrimental effect on people’s rights, including potential unlawful interferences and non-compliance with rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Rights affected include people’s rights to physical and psychological integrity, private and family life, and to independent living in the community.
Evidence from research participants showed how the reduction or withdrawal of care and support at home has led to circumstances in which people were left without essential care, such as assistance to get up and go to bed, to wash and use the toilet, to eat and drink, and to take medication.
The report sets out 24 recommendations for action, including:
- The Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) should jointly commit to the return of care packages and support at pre-pandemic levels, as a minimum.
- The Scottish Government should immediately establish data collection mechanisms to monitor the nature and extent of the reductions and withdrawals of care packages.
- The Scottish Government and COSLA should develop an emergency decision making framework for social care which is grounded in rights-based principles of inclusion and participation in decision making, and transparency. This should also meet critical human rights standards.
- The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) should be incorporated into Scots law and therefore into policy design and delivery so that this situation never happens again
Judith Robertson, Chair of the Commission, said:
“Social care is an essential investment in realising people’s rights, particularly those of us who are disabled, older or provide unpaid care. Delivered properly, social care should enable people to access their rights to family life, health, education, employment and independent living in the community, among others. That’s why the Commission is deeply concerned about the reduction and withdrawal of social care support to people during COVID-19, and the impact this is having on their rights.
While the report is concerning I am absolutely sure that what is documented here is probably occurring across the UK. Concerning times for all and only goes to show that we need to “…build back better” as this report highlights.