Human Rights Protection extended under Care Bill

The Care Bill returned to the House of Lords this week for the consideration and agreement of amendments made in the House of Commons.

The House of Lords has amended the Care Bill to give greater protection under the Human Rights Act to people whose care is arranged or funded by local authorities and also applies to services funded through direct payments.

Health minister Earl Howe said: “The amendment makes it clear that providers of publicly arranged or funded care and support, both residential and non-residential, provided on behalf of a local authority to an individual, are bound by the Human Rights Act.”

The Care Bill will apply to all care providers regulated by CQC. The amendment to the Care Bill closes a loophole that meant people could only call on the Human Rights Act when care was provided directly by public bodies, or they were placed by councils or the NHS in care homes. Under the new changes, people receiving domiciliary care commissioned by the state will also be protected.

The Care Bill had previously been amended by the House of Lords to extend human rights protections to all service users receiving care from regulated providers. However, Earl Howe said that it was not the intention of the legislation to extend the Human Rights Act into the private sphere of arrangements made between individuals and care providers without state involvement.

The Care Bill will now return to the House of Commons for final consideration before passing into law.

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