How do I balance my rights as a care provider and my responsibilities when it comes to visits during national Covid-19 restrictions?

Q

How do I balance my rights as a care provider and my responsibilities when it comes to visits during national Covid-19 restrictions?

A

As care homes make difficult decisions about supporting visits to residents during the national Covid-19 restrictions (5 November 2020), it is worth understanding the rights and responsibilities of care providers as well as of their residents and visitors.

At all times, visitor policies should be drawn up in light of care providers’ general legal obligations, such as those under the Equality Act 2010 and Human Rights Act 1998, as applicable, and have regard to the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) ethical framework for adult social care.

Human rights recognise that all people resident in care settings have the right to freedom of movement and association, including the right for residents to see their families. Residents also have rights to life, and to health, which could be compromised if the care home risks exposing them to Covid-19. A recent Amnesty International report also claimed that by barring both oversight and family visits earlier in 2020, the Government increased the risk of care home residents being ex-posed to abuses that would not be identified, reported and investigated.

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