Self-funding care home residents are unprotected by the Human Rights Act

Self-funding care home residents are particularly vulnerable to abuse because they are unprotected by the Human Rights Act and their plight often goes unnoticed, a charity has said.

The courts have not considered independent care homes to be “public authorities” under the act, meaning both self-funders and people whose places are commissioned by councils are not protected.

But Relatives and Residents Association chief executive Gillian Daly told a parliamentary seminar that self-funders were in a particularly vulnerable position.

“We have seen a lot of cases in which [a lack of human rights protection] would be an issue,” she added. “The problem is that people don’t realise it’s an issue.”

The seminar was sponsored by Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow, who introduced the Care of Older People and Incapacitated People (Human Rights) Bill this year to ensure all independent sector care homes are covered by the Human Rights Act. Its second reading in the Lords is due on 14 July.

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