The Care Standards Act has come under fire for failing to
adequately address discrimination issues concerning age, race and
George Giarchi, emeritus professor of social care studies at the
University of Plymouth, told an Age Concern conference in London he
was disappointed that race, age and disability were not at the
forefront of the Care Standards Act 2000 and described it as
Giarchi said he had hoped the act would follow the National
Service Framework for Older People – published by the government in
March – which made age discrimination its first standard.
However he said the act barely touches on these issues and
distinctly lacks in checking for age discrimination, providing
person-centred care, promoting older people’s health and
independence and fitting services around people’s needs.
He said: ‘Ageism is rife in health and social services.
It’s a pity that it’s not the first standard in the
Care Standards Act. Discrimination in all its forms –
including age, disability, and race should be addressed, but they
are lacking in the act itself. It’s very sad.’
Giarchi also voiced concerns about the lack of reference to
ethnic discrimination, and pointed out that older ethnic minority
people would currently not survive in some parts of the country
where there is a white majority, due to higher levels of
Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern England, agreed
that the problem of ethnic discrimination could escalate in the
future. ‘At present there are very few ethnic minority people in
the care system, even fewer in residential care services.
‘However the number of older ethnic minority people is set
to increase tenfold over the next 15 years. We think that people
need to be addressing the issues around ageing and ethnicity