News from BIHR

The Human Rights Act Review: find out what we’re doing & how to get involved!

On 13th January 2021, the Government’s Independent Review published its consultation questions. This Review is looking at how the Human Rights Act (HRA) is working in practice and whether any change is needed.

The questions are narrow, focussing on how the HRA works in courtrooms. This does not reflect 20 years of the HRA’s operation. We know from working with people, community organisations and public bodies that the HRA can be a powerful practical tool for advocacy, for planning, delivering and securing rights-respecting services, and to support calls to change policy and legislation which is not rights compliant. The Joint Committee on Human Rights is holding an Inquiry into the Review. You can submit evidence to the Inquiry too.

How you are using the HRA in everyday ways really matters but may be missed in the Review. That’s why we’ve created lots of resources to support you to have your voice heard in the Review and the Inquiry! Find all our resources here.

This week, we hosted another Human Rights Act Upskilling Session in partnership with Equally Ours. We have another Upskilling session on February 19th for friends in Scotland! Hosted with Human Rights Consortium Scotland, we look at how our HRA works for people in everyday interactions with public services in Scotland and explore the HRA's impact on devolution. Sign up here!

If you want to share your experiences of the Human Rights Act with us to inform our response to the HRA Review and Inquiry, please fill in our accessible survey before Monday 22 February.


News from Elsewhere...

  1. Hospital waiting list 'may double to 10m by April'

    "Waiting lists for hospital treatment could more than double by April and hit 10 million in England, the Reform think tank is warning."

    BBC News, 17 February 2021

  2. Inspectors find blood stains on wall of mental health ward

    "Blood stains were discovered by inspectors on the wall of a family visiting room at a hospital providing specialist mental health care for young people."

    The Independent, 17 February 2021

  3. Watchdog uncovers delays of up to six years in handling DoLS cases because of council triage system

    "A council left over 1,000 people unlawfully deprived of their liberty in care homes or hospitals because they deemed their cases “low or medium priority” and so had not assessed them under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards."

    Community Care, 16 February 2021

  4. Fury at ‘do not resuscitate’ notices given to Covid patients with learning disabilities

    "People with learning disabilities have been given do not resuscitate orders during the second wave of the pandemic, in spite of widespread condemnation of the practice last year and an urgent investigation by the care watchdog."

    The Observer, 13 February 2021

  5. Housebound over-80s ‘forgotten’ in vaccines rollout as younger people get jabs in UK’s ‘world-leading’ scheme

    "Vulnerable housebound people in some areas of the UK have still not been vaccinated against Covid – while in other areas much younger, fitter people are already receiving jabs."

    The Independent, 13 February 2021

  6. Social care failed by lack of PPE during first wave of pandemic, say MPs

    "Commons public accounts committee finds social care provided with 10% of estimated need of PPE during first wave, when NHS trusts received 80%."

    Community Care, 12 February 2021

Thanks for reading!

There has been a lot of sad human rights news this week, and we know it can be overwhelming. Why not take a moment to read our blog, Value of Human Rights in Health and Social Care: from Covid-19 and beyond, to remind yourself and reflect on the value that human rights have in helping us achieve dignified and independent lives.