Creating a fairer Britain
06 July 2011
John Wadham, Group Director, Legal, at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:
'We are disappointed with today's ruling which is a significant setback for people who receive care in their home. Ms McDonald is not incontinent, however this judgment means she will be treated as such.
'Local authorities will now have greater discretion in deciding how to meet a person's home care needs and will find it easier to justify withdrawing care. This means that older people's human rights to privacy, autonomy and dignity will often be put at serious risk.
'The Court has missed a significant opportunity to interpret the law to protect some of the most vulnerable people to harm in society. The Commission's inquiry into care in the home has already highlighted some of the problems with the current system of home care. This judgment will only fuel those problems.'
For more press information contact the Commission’s media office on 020 3117 0255, out of hours 07767 272 818.
The Commission funded the Disability Law Service to continue with Miss McDonald’s appeal at the Supreme Court. For a copy of the judgment go to: http://www.supremecourt.gov.uk/news/latest-judgments.html
The Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.