Ministers conform to carer abuse evaluate after refusing to incorporate disability rights in new invoice – Incapacity Information Service
The government has agreed to launch a year-long review of protection and support for disabled people who are abused by their carers.
The review will examine the protection and assistance currently available, as well as barriers to access to justice, and will cover the Department of Health and Social Affairs, the Department of the Interior, the Disability Department and the Department of Justice.
Ministers also say they will look at existing criminal laws, protection of the law, regulation by the Care Quality Commission, safeguards for those receiving unregulated care, and support for survivors of caregiver abuse .
The disabled crossbench peer baroness [Jane] Campbell (pictured above right) welcomed the announcement, saying it was a “good concession” and a “small achievement”.
The government only agreed to the review after refusing to extend the protections in its domestic violence bill to include disabled people who were abused in their homes by paid carers and personal assistants, as well as friends and neighbors performing unpaid caring duties .
Attempts to expand this protection had been cited in the Lords by Baroness Campbell and another disabled crossbench peer, Baroness [Tanni] Gray-Thompson (picture above left).
After securing bipartisan support from the Lords, their amendments were overturned by MPs, and Junior Home Secretary Victoria Atkins instead promised “a review of protection for those at risk of caregiver abuse”.
Another Home Secretary, Baroness Williams, then met with Baroness Campbell and Baroness Gray-Thompson and told them that their work had led the government to “think long and hard about the fact that disabled people are at the mercy of their carers.”
Baroness Campbell then told the Disability News Service (DNS), “I stressed that this had to start immediately and disabled people had to be involved throughout the process.
“There had to be solutions, especially given the pandemic.
“It was agreed that the review would be evidence-based and, importantly, that legislation would be considered if the review identified a need.
“The minister accepted that he must also take into account the difficulties faced by disabled people in reporting abuse.”
After the meeting, Baroness Campbell told colleagues that she now accepted that the bill could not be extended to include abuse by paid carers and personal assistants, as well as friends and neighbors performing unpaid caring duties.
But she told them she was “currently confident” that the government “has addressed deep concerns … excluding disabled people from the bill.”
“I believe they are determined to find alternative means of combating caregiver abuse, as current protection is clearly inadequate.”
She added: “Caregiver abuse – as demonstrated during the pandemic and during previous debates and pre-legislative controls – must not continue in an uncontrolled manner.
“Disabled people deserve equal protection – nothing less.”
She told DNS that the review was a “good concession” as there was little hope of extending the legislation to include caregiver abuse.
She added: “I worked to have the amendment shed light on this very hidden threat that affects the lives of disabled people.”
She also praised the support and advice from the user-run organization Stay Safe East, which works with disabled survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, hate crimes and other forms of abuse, and its former executive director, Ruth Bashall.
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