Activist set for authorized motion over authorities’s ‘extreme, discriminatory’ care residence guidelines – Incapacity Information Service
A disabled activist is hoping to take legal action against the government’s COVID rules, which force nursing home residents to isolate for two weeks every time they go to a doctor’s appointment or shop.
Doug Paulley has also told managers at his Leonard Cheshire nursing home that he will not follow “patronizing, excessive and discriminatory” government guidelines.
Although the government has announced that nursing home residents can go for a walk (starting Tuesday this week) or visit a friend or relative’s garden – as long as they are accompanied – the strict rules for other visits have not changed.
This means that nursing home residents must self-isolate for two weeks after each visit to a shop, hospital, or other indoor space.
Even for walks and visits to gardens, the resident of the nursing home must be accompanied by a nursing staff or a “nominated” visitor.
Paulley (pictured at a pre-pandemic protest), who lives in a Yorkshire nursing home, will request a judicial review of the guidelines.
He has highlighted the “excessive” rules that force him to apply himself for two weeks every time he attends one of his regular hospital appointments, volunteers at a local charity, meets friends or associates, or just visits a local business isolate.
He said, “There are some in our nursing home who are white hot about the situation.
“I made the decision that I just won’t stick to it.”
He’s told the managers at his nursing home that he wants to ignore the rules.
Leonard Cheshire has told him that implementation of the rules has been delayed while trying unsuccessfully to challenge government guidelines.
Other residents of Paulley’s house are furious as well, and one of them has decided to join his lawsuit, which will be started by attorney Bindmans, if they can get legal help.
Each resident of the Home for Younger Disabled Adults received both COVID vaccines, and all staff were offered both injections as well.
Paulley followed strict social distancing guidelines during the pandemic, but now the country is breaking free from lockdown and residents have been vaccinated. He believes the government’s guidelines are “excessive” and a “cynical” response to criticism from ministers. Failure to protect nursing homes early in the pandemic.
He said: “I am very aware of the high risk in nursing homes but the UK is opening up and we are all being vaccinated.
“It feels patronizing and over the top and it’s so restrictive in people’s lives.
“It just feels open, disproportionate, discriminatory and stereotypes people in nursing homes. That’s why it’s important to me. “
He added, “I am generally an advocate for compliance with government coronavirus policies and laws.
“I previously criticized the house for failing to do this and thereby endangering our lives.
“To criticize the instructions and think about not following them is a departure for me and not something I do lightly.
“But this latest guide feels very wrong to me.
“Just as everyone in the nursing home has received both vaccinations, the infection rate is falling, the ‘official’ shielding is over, society is starting to open up and restrictions are gradually being relaxed. This new obligation is imposed on us.
“It’s our home, it’s our life. It seems bizarre that just because we are in a nursing home we should be treated so patronizingly. “
Paulley has already started an ongoing human rights case against Leonard Cheshire for failing to take the necessary security precautions to protect the residents of the house during the first national lockdown.
He says the charity has not received COVID tests from local authorities and has not prevented some residents from circumventing the home’s visitor guidelines.
A spokesman for Leonard Cheshire said: “We felt that the original guidelines unnecessarily restricted people’s choices and activities.
“The government made some changes to the 14-day self-isolation rules after the visits, but we still don’t believe these changes have gone far enough.
“Nursing home residents are still generally advised not to go out. If so, it is recommended that you only go to outdoor areas such as parks or gardens.
“Shops and other indoor venues such as gyms are now reopening in a controlled manner across the UK.
“However, there is currently no advice as to when nursing home residents can safely enjoy these or other community facilities again.
“It is also required that individuals be accompanied by an employee or a designated visitor on all visits.
“This seems excessive, contradicts personal choices, puts pressure on families and, although we do our best, it will not always be possible from a personnel point of view.”
The spokesman said it was “inappropriate” to comment on the ongoing legal action Paulley is taking against the charity as “talks continue”.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Welfare said: “We know the importance of people spending more time outdoors and we will continue to look at ways to facilitate more visits as the data shows it is safe to do so .
“This is another important step towards a normal life and is being done to protect nursing homes from the ongoing risk of COVID-19.
“The changes come as data shows cases continue to decline, which means it is now much safer for residents of care homes, some of the hardest hit by COVID-19, to leave their homes.
“Visiting outdoors ensures that the risk is kept as low as possible.”
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