Editorial Comment: Ditch the assumptions

We will miss the Disability Rights Commission when it makes way for the all-singing all-dancing Commission for Equality and Human Rights next month. The DRC had a knack of homing in on key issues and coming up with good sense recommendations backed up with solid research.

That is certainly true of one of the final DRC reports following up its inquiry into discrimination against social workers, nurses and teachers who have a disability.

When it comes to the caring professions, the legacy of the Clothier report into the murders by nurse Beverley Allitt is an assumption that professionals with mental illness, are a risk to clients. This is despite the fact that Allitt showed no previous sign of mental illness.

The resultant stigma around disclosing mental health problems poses much more danger to service users than a more open approach. The new CEHR should make it clear that ten years on from the Disability Discrimination Act its remit extends beyond disabled people as service users – it must be seen to protect employees too.

Related article
DRC: Discriminatory health rules exclude disabled from social work

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Janet Snell


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