Victoria Derbyshire’s BBC2 show on Wednesday last week focused on relatives being banned from seeing their loved ones in Care Homes and this has led to a number of articles in the National Press. Families have said they are often faced with the threat of the Care Homes stopping them visiting their loved ones as a result of them making complaints with regard to the standard of care, or even where a reasonable request has been made, such as to make sure a person’s hearing aid is maintained.
This trend is extremely worrying in consideration that this could be a breach of a person’s human rights as to having a right to a family life under Article 8 of The European Convention on Human Rights 1988 and certainly they are in breach of Health and Social Care Act regulations.
Following these reports The Care Quality Commission have now issued guidelines for residents and their families.
Jenny Moore from Your Voice Matters has campaigned against families being banned by Care Homes she says:
“When a family raise concerns about care, they are often shocked by the lack of protection they have as an advocate for their loved one. Your Voice Matters have campaigned on the banning of families, restricted visits and evictions for 6 years, recently launching our campaign Rights 2 Speak Up 4 Care. Never underestimate the power of a care home provider. No one wants to think they will get old and need care, but we advise you to act now before it is too late. ”
More details of the campaign can be found at the Your Voice Matters website Your Voice Matters
One of the points that The Care Quality Commission has advised is that people should put in place Health and Welfare powers of attorney for their families in order that they can have the legal authority to make best interests decision for them if they lose mental capacity.
It is imperative that Lasting Powers of Attorneys are put in place early whilst a person has capacity to do so. This allows them to have the choice as to who they should appoint to act for them in situations of potential dispute if they become unable to do so themselves.
It is clear that putting your affairs in order at an early stage can safeguard your rights in the future and protected you against third parties making decisions about you that would be against your own wishes.
Please contact Tollers’ Elderly and Vulnerable Client Unit for advice around putting in place Health and Welfare Powers of Attorney.