Creating a fairer Britain
Our inquiry into human rights of older people receiving home care found disturbing evidence of the extent of human rights breaches in social care settings in England.
This underlines the need for complete consistency and clarity in the application of the Human Rights Act and the public sector equality duty to all providers of healthcare and home care services in England.
The proposed amendment would substantiate that healthcare services commissioned from private and third sector organisations fall within the scope of the Human Rights Act.
The amendment would also give legal certainty to the extent of the public sector equality duty in its application to health and social care services, because the definition of 'public function' under the Human Rights Act also determines the definition of ‘public function’ under S150(5) Equality Act 2010 for the purposes of the public sector general equality duty.
The current legal position is evidently unsatisfactory. Those receiving care should not be put at risk by the uncertainties of future case law, nor should they have to wait for possible future legislation following the government white paper on social care. This is due to be debated when the bill reaches report stage in Spring.
For more information see the briefing paper House of Lords report stage briefing: Briefing on amendment to clarify that the Human Rights Act 1998 extends to publically-funded healthcare and home care services.