Directors welcome Minister's commitment to human rights

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: March 27, 2008
Embargo: Immediate 

Directors of adult social services have praised Care Minister Ivan Lewis for his  announcement this morning that he would seek to ensure that older people living in private care homes and for by local authorities would be fully protected by current human rights legislation.

According to Jenny Owen and Dwayne Johnson who represented ADASS at the hearing by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, This is excellent news. We have long argued for it; it will properly close a totally unfair and unnecessary anomaly in our current safeguarding arrangements.

Putting the human rights of residents at the top of social care priorities was one of the key items raised by the Association in both its written and oral submissions to the Joint Committee.

ADASS also welcomed the investigation into elder abuse in publicly-owned care homes and the NHS which was announced by the Minister at the same time: it highlights the governments concerns, it highlights the concerns of older people and their families, and it highlights our concerns, said Mr Johnson, now joint chair of the Associations Older People Network.

Equally supported was the governments decision to appoint an independent adjudicator to rule on complaints against private homes by people who fund their own care. Currently they can only complain to the companies running their home.

As we stressed in our evidence to the Human Rights Parliamentary Joint Committee, said Mr Johnson, the current arrangements for complaints systems within private care homes meant people were often inhibited from complaining for fear of the consequences that might have on the care they, or their loved ones, received.

Having reference to an independent adjudicator is an important first step towards ensuring that complaints can be dealt with quickly, fairly, and firmly.

ENDS

For further information contact:
Jenny Owen, ADASS vice president-elect and former Joint Chair, ADSS Older Peoples Committee, 01245 434806
Dwayne Johnson, Joint Chair, ADASS Older Peoples Network, 0151 471 7548
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy Press Adviser, 020 8348 502307976 837755