Bill aims for more rights for disabled people

Disabled people would gain the right to protection against enforced or inappropriate admission to residential care, under an independent living bill being prepared by the Disability Rights Commission.

The bill, which could be introduced in the House of Lords by next April, could also ensure that social care services are based on an initial self-assessment by service users, delegates heard.

Gerry Zarb, head of health and independent living at the DRC, emphasised that discussions about the bill were still at an early stage.

But he said it might also seek to update the list of entitlements for disabled people. He pointed out that this was still based on the National Assistance Act 1948 and included outdated entitlements such as one week’s holiday a year.

The DRC has set up a drafting group for the bill and hopes to bring on board other major players including the Association of Directors of Social Services, Carers UK and Help the Aged.

Although discussions so far have focused on the entitlements of disabled people, Zarb said that to secure these rights, eventual legislation would have to create a statutory duty on public sector bodies.

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.