Human Rights Act - Self-funded Residents

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Margaret W, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Now we learn that as well as not been entitled to the assistance of a Social Worker, a Self-Funded resident is not covered by the Human Rights Act. Until now, apparently, nobody in a private care home has been covered by the Human Rights Act, but moves are afoot to give those who are funded by the local authority the same rights as those in Local Authority Homes, but not so those in private care homes (which most of our relatives are in, whether self-funded or not), who are self-funding. So if our relatives are locked in their rooms all day for convenience of the staff, we have no recourse via the Human Rights legislation, but those who are local authority funded will have. If our relatives are starved cos they do not eat without assistance and no-one assists them, and they are self-funded, we will have no recourse via the Human rights legislation. If our parents are turned out of a home because they do not like their perfume or do not get on with the relatives, we have no recourse via the Human Rights legislation.

    It seems to me that self-funded people are up the creek without a paddle.

    It also seems to me that others on this site have not experienced what I have experienced, so I wonder where I am going wrong. Is everybody really happy with their rellies care home? Is it just me who isn't 100% happy?

    I am not about to invoke or want to invoke the Human Rights Act, but you never know for the future. I do feel alone. Anyone out there with the same concerns?

  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Not to minimize the issues, because I agree, it's ridiculous that people shouldn't be covered, but 1) this is not new news and 2) (most importantly) I do not believe that human rights legislation would be anymore effective at curbing the sort of thing you have mentioned than existing laws. Frankly, if care staff don't feed an elderly person who needs to be fed, I think there is a vanishingly small possibility that such care would be forthcoming should there be human rights legislation in place.

    As to satisfaction with a given home - well I think most of us have had good and not so good experiences. I suspect that very few are 100% happy - after all this is not an ideal situation. I can only suggest, and I realise that this isn't by any means the easy option, that if you are unsatisfied with a home AND you don't think you can get them to make changes that as a self-funder, you vote with your feet (or rather your wallet). I know that sounds trite and uncaring, but in the final analysis that's really the only effective thing you can do. Is it right that it should be this way? No it's not. Is it fair that others may be left to their less-than-tender mercies? No it's not. But unless you have far more energy than most of us, all you can really do is fight the fight for your loved one, not everyone else.
  3. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Jennifer, it was new news to me. And I am not aware of existing laws that cover the areas I mention.

    I didn't quite understand the rest of your post - forgive me, not being funny - I genuinely didn't understand the rest of your post, maybe I am a bit slow.

    Of course I currently only have the energy to fight for my own relative, who doesn't currently have any problems that might come under the HRA. But I am taking a year off work next year (from September 1st) cos I am worn out, and I might get a bit of a spark to look at the problems facing other people.


  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Margaret - the thing I said that might not be clear is when I referred to voting with your feet. By this I meant: if you don't like a home and you can't get satisfaction then as a self-funder your best (perhaps only) resolution is to remove the person in question from that home. Does that make it clearer?

    And by existing laws I refer to common assault laws and, in certain circumstances, contract law.
  5. Chris Edgerton

    Chris Edgerton Registered User

    Oct 22, 2003
    Warwick District
    Poor response to request for Human Rights for self funders

    Its all very well running a sexy campaign on drugs to become a well known group such as cancer groups have become well known, but what of the real cost to the people with dementia.

    Is anyone brave enough to charge a doctor and or a care home with assault? Well what else is a chemical/drug used to keep someone quiet but assault?

    The lack of human rights for self-funders is that any action would mean the resident being evicted, and yes the social services wouldn’t what to know.

    Of course there are many other issues which you can raise with a care home and also be evicted for.

    The answer is human rights for self funded people in care homes.

    The right conferred through a Human Right Act through the Health and Social Care Act.

    The Health and Social Care Bill will now be going through the Lords committee meetings and then back to the Commons etc: plenty of time to get human right for self funders.

    See link for Lords Hansard transcript of the debate on the Health and Social Care Bill on the 25 March 2007. Look particularly at comments made by Baroness Greengross and Baroness Howe: columns 528-530. :confused:

    Write to your local MP and make sure the issues of human rights for self funder are on the agenda and in the Act.

    Yours fraternally

  6. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #6 Margarita, Apr 1, 2008
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2008
    I also found it
    appalling when I found out that care home that our not run by a local authority are not coved under the human rights act & said so when I 1st come on to TP in 06
    I remember this coming out last year when a woman was given notice to leave the home after the management fell out with her relatives.

    Nor are the people who are not self funded & they are put in a private care homes
  7. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    My understanding of the Human Rights law is that an individual can only enforce such rights against a public body.

    In the case of the elderly resident who was threatened with eviction because of the alleged behaviour of her husband and daughter, she was a resident of a private residential home, where she had been placed by Birmingham City Council. She (through the Official Solicitor) had tried to argue that the private company running the home had assumed the function of a public authority and was therefore subject to Human Rights Law. She was unsuccessful both in the original case and on appeals to the Court of Appeal and to the House of Lords (on a 2-1 majority in the House of Lords).

    The government has now announced that it will extend the Human Rights Law to residents placed in private homes by local authorities.

    I agree with Jennifer that this is unlikely to make a difference to situations of neglect or abuse, but could make a real difference to people threatened with eviction.

    Roger Smith of the pressure group JUSTICE has said on the proposed change:-

    We live in hope...
  8. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Thanks for that explanation, Sue. I didn't understand why the Act didn't apply.
  9. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Very interesting Sue. In fact, when you put it like that, it almost seems as if it might be of more use and offer more protection to non self-funded residents. I can easily imagine a situation where an LA funded resident could be pushed out to make room for a self-funded resident who would be paying that much more to the home. It does sound as if its primary use would be, potentially, to protect people from unfair eviction. However, I suspect that even with HR legislation, evictions with the same scenario as the Birmingham case will still take place - there is more than one way to deal with such a situation. I'm guess that if HR legislation had been found to have applied, the the home would have had to get an injunction to bar the relatives and they in turn would have put pressure on the LA to move the woman anyway.

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