News from BIHR


We really enjoy delivering human rights sessions as a chance to engage with lots of different groups of people across the country and help them understand more about human rights and what they mean.

This week, we’ve worked with an adult and older persons inpatient mental health team; supported carers in Scotland to know and use human rights; delivered a human rights session to a range of staff working in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities; and delivered a session on applying human rights for people in the shared living sector.


We’ve got a great range of blogs for you to have a look at! Why not try Human Rights Officer Eilidh’s latest blog on visiting policies during Covid-19 and why this is a human rights issue. Care home visiting policies have been in the news a lot over the past few weeks. As Eilidh reminds us, “making decisions about people’s rights which balance risks and safety and arrive at a proportionate decision can make visits in care homes possible." Read Eilidh’s blog here.

Take a look at our Director Sanchita’s recent blog on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) latest report on their review into the use of restraint, segregation and seclusion for Autistic people and people with learning disabilities and/or mental health conditions. Sanchita urges us to see the use of restraint as a human rights issue and calls for staff to be better trained and supported to use human rights in their work. What’s more, Sanchita reminds us that commissioners themselves are key for accountability in the care sector. Commissioners must start from the basis that their job is to ensure respect and protection of people’s human rights. Read Sanchita’s blog here!


During the pandemic, we’ve been working hard to translate the huge amount of new law which has been passed into plain language Explainers which explain the law across the UK and how it impacts human rights. You can find all our Covid-19 law and policy Explainers on our Coronavirus hub. We also have an Explainer on the CQC’s recent report, ‘State of Care 2019/20’, which assessed the state and quality of care in England over the past year – you can read our Explainer here.

News from Elsewhere...

  1. Making care home residents isolate for 28 days for each Covid case 'inhumane', families say

"Forcing care home residents to isolate for 28 days is "inhumane", families have said, with providers criticising the Health Secretary for "not knowing" his own guidance."

The Telegraph, 17 November 2020 (please note, this article is behind a paywall)


  1. Hospital trust accused of risking lives after raising patient-to-nurse ratio to dangerously high levels

"A hospital trust in Bristol has been accused of risking lives after raising its patient-to-nurse ward ratio to dangerously high levels, having allegedly dismissed staff concerns and national guidance on safe staffing."

The Independent, 18 November 2020


  1. Supreme Court refuses to hear case of transgender man seeking to be called ‘father’ on baby’s birth certificate

"Freddy McConnell argues making him register as child’s mother breaches his human rights around privacy and family life"

 The Independent, 16 November 2020


  1. People with learning disabilities had higher death rate from COVID-19

"England death rate up to 6 times higher from coronavirus during the first wave of the pandemic than the general population, Public Health England study finds.

The report, Deaths of people identified as having learning disabilities with COVID-19 in England in the Spring of 2020 examined data from The English Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) and NHS England’s COVID-19 Patient Notification System (CPNS) which records deaths in hospital settings."

UK Government Press Release, 12 November 2020


  1. All care homes will be able to allow visits for Christmas, Matt Hancock says

"All care homes will be able to allow visits for Christmas, Matt Hancock says, amid growing criticism of delays in introducing safety measures.

As a trial at 20 homes finally gets underway – allowing relatives of residents to have pre-visit Covid tests – the health secretary said testing would be available across the country for the festive period."

The Independent, 16 November 2020


  1. Closure of churches breaches human rights, government told as religious leaders launch legal action

"Closing churches is a breach of human rights, religious leaders have claimed, after launching legal action against the government.

More than 120 Church leaders are pursuing a judicial review over what they claim is the “unlawful” closure of religious buildings."

 The Telegraph, 13 November 2020



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.