Bill will put ‘too much faith in carers’

Learning difficulty charity People First has expressed concern over
the proposals expected to be included in the Mental Incapacity Bill
due out this week.

The charity is concerned that the bill could lead to relatives and
care workers having greater control over the lives of the people
with learning difficulties that they care for.

“The government is putting too much faith in our carers and
relatives to make decisions for us that are really in our best
interests. We often have decisions made for us that are best for
our care staff or relatives, not what is best for us,” said
national People First campaign worker Carol Lee.

She added that paid workers often made decisions on behalf of
people with learning difficulties because “they can’t be bothered”
to spend the time and effort supporting individuals to make
decisions for themselves.

The charity said that there were often conflicts of interest
between people with learning difficulties and their relatives or
care workers. One such example would be where the manager of a
residential home refuses to help a resident find out about moving
because of a fear of losing money.

People First is also concerned that the bill will not include a way
for people with learning difficulties to challenge the right of
someone else to make their decisions.

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