Protecting disabled people’s rights during pandemic

Covid 19 PA Pool GraphicFollowing some disturbing reports about how disabled people are being treated during the COVID-19 pandemic, a disabled rights charity has called for the NHS to develop new guidelines to help protect them…

While many people are making the most of being in lockdown, spending time as a family, starting up a new hobby, many disabled people are struggling. They might be classed as vulnerable and have been instructed to stay inside for 12 weeks to protect themselves. They might have carers coming in and out of their homes increasing risk of contamination, and then there is the worry that if they contract Coronavirus they will not have the same rights to treatment as other people.

The charity, Disability Rights UK, is calling for a new set of COVID-19 guidelines covering the assessment, provision, and evaluation of treatment and care of disabled people during the pandemic. They want the guidelines to be developed in collaboration with disabled people’s organisations and representatives from human rights bodies.

The charity is asking that existing health conditions are not used as the basis to decide whether or not patients with COVID-19 receive treatment, and that disabled people should be fully involved in decisions about their care.

Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director, NHS England and NHS Improvement and Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer, NHS England and NHS Improvement have replied to the call, stating that they support the principles set out by Disability Rights UK.

The call for protection for disabled people during the COVID-19 pandemic has been welcomed by PA Pool, a website that also aims to help disabled people take more control of their lives, by managing their own private care recruitment or employment.

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