Read about our work with Learning Disability England and new mandatory training for NHS staff.

News from BIHR

We celebrated World Social Work Day 2022 with a workshop!

On Thursday 17th March 2022, we joined social workers in Leeds and Wakefield for a workshop focusing on rights, responsibilities and possible reform. Participants told us they “really enjoyed” the session and we had a great time discussing human rights in real-life contexts.

We spoke at a Learning Disability England conference about Government consultations

On Wednesday 16th March 2022, our Head of Policy & Programmes, Carlyn, spoke at a Learning Disability England conference about Government consultations and the barriers to responding to them.

Carlyn talked about the work BIHR is doing to influence a human-rights based approach to consultation and shared our new resource to help people challenge consultations that don’t comply with equality requirements.

Get our top tips for responding to consultations here.

We talked to CAMHS nurses about the importance of the Human Rights Act

On Wednesday 16th March 2022, our Human Rights Officer, Natalie, met with NHS staff to talk about human rights in practice. They talked about the importance of embedding a human-rights approach to care, with one nurse summarising, “the Human Rights Act is the difference between living and not just surviving.”

News from elsewhere

The House of Lords voted in favour of creating a Code of Practice for mandatory learning disability and autism training for health and social care staff

Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism is a training scheme fully co-designed and co-delivered with people with learning disabilities and autism as well as family carers and people working in relevant services. It is named for an autistic man with mild learning difficulties who died after he was given an antipsychotic medication that he was known to be allergic to.

The scheme has been trialled as part of a national pilot. On Wednesday 16th March 2022, the House of Lords voted in favour of an amendment to the Health and Care Bill that would require the Secretary of State to publish a Code of Practice setting out how the training can be scaled up across the country.

Source: They Work For You

The DWP has been ordered to release findings from its review of safeguarding procedures

In 2018, Errol Graham, who suffered serious mental illness, failed to attend a fit-for-work assessment and as a result, his benefit payments were stopped. Eight months later, he was found to have died from starvation. His family brought a case against the Department for Work and Pensions, (DWP) arguing that the DWP’s safeguarding guidance was not sufficient. The judge found the guidance was lawful and that staff had acted reasonably in Errol’s case.

The DWP said at the time that it was already carrying out a review of its safeguarding policy that would be completed in 2019. However, it has since said it is not planning to release a report. The Information Commissioner’s Office has now ordered the DWP to release the review findings.

Source: Disability News Service

A Child Safeguarding Practice Review found that racism was a factor in the strip-searching of a black teenage girl at school

In 2020, a black teenage girl, known as Child Q, was strip-searched by the police at her school without an appropriate adult present. The school had called the police because they said that Child Q smelt of cannabis, although Child Q denied using or having any drugs. The school searched her clothes and possessions and then called the police. Two female police officers then strip-searched Child Q, despite knowing she was on her period, forcing her to take off her menstrual pad in the process.

On Tuesday 15th March 2022, Hackney Council published the Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review report into the incident. It found that although the school searching Child Q’s belongings was a justified interference with her Article 8 right to privacy, the strip-search should never have happened and racism was likely to have been an influencing factor in the decision to do so.

Child Q is being represented by Just For Kids Law and the Independent Office for Police Conduct is conducting a separate investigation into Met Police’s actions.

Source: Hackney Council