Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
Equality and Human Rights Commission reaches settlement on ending unlawful detention of adults with incapacity by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has stopped legal proceedings against NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) and HC One Oval Ltd, the owner of a chain of care homes, after NHSGGC ended their practice of placing patients in two care homes in Glasgow without legal authority.
Yesterday’s settlement follows extensive talks aimed at improving the process for discharging adults with incapacity from hospital so their dignity and human rights are respected. All of the existing patients in the two units have now been discharged and NHSGGC have committed to working with their partner local authorities to ensure that all patients and their families know what is happening and what their rights are.
HC One Oval Ltd have also agreed not to accept the transfer of patients from hospitals in terms of this previous practice.
Legal action started when the equality body discovered that patients who were medically fit to be discharged from hospital but who lacked capacity to make decisions about their personal welfare were being transferred into and held in two care homes in Glasgow without consent or lawful authority. These people were kept in homes for periods ranging between a few weeks and a year, pending the appointment of a welfare guardian. The EHRC argued this practice was unlawful, discriminatory and contrary to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Lynn Welsh, Head of Legal at the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland, said today:
“It is critical that decisions about people’s lives take account of their will and preferences and are centred on their dignity and human rights. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have accepted that our human rights concerns were legitimate and have taken concrete steps to end the practice.
“We are pleased to conclude the legal proceedings we have taken against NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and HC One Oval Ltd with an agreement which will safeguard the rights of elderly and disabled people. We are confident that the revised patient pathway we have agreed with NHSGGC should achieve that.
“We are grateful to the Mental Welfare Commission for lending their expertise as an interested party and to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde for working with us constructively to improve their practices. We will be ensuring other health boards are aware of the outcomes of this case and that they have safeguards in place to ensure their patients’ human rights are respected.”
Notes to editors
A hearing before Lady Carmichael in the Court of Session on Thursday 19 November 2020 saw all parties agree to dismiss the Judicial Review on the basis that NHSGGC has ended their practice of transferring adults with incapacity into two registered care homes without consent or authority, pending the appointment of a guardian. All of the patients have been lawfully discharged. HC One Oval Ltd has similarly committed not to receive any more patients in this way. NHSGGC has been working constructively with EHRC and MWC since January to improve their practices going forward.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is the national equality body for Scotland, England and Wales. We work to eliminate discrimination and promote equality across the nine protected grounds set out in the Equality Act 2010:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sex, and;
- sexual orientation
We are an “A Status” National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) and share our mandate to promote and protect human rights in Scotland with the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC).
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)
The UK signed the UNCRPD in 2009. The Convention exists to protect and promote the human rights of disabled people and covers a wide range of areas including:
- Access to justice
- Personal security
- Independent living
- Access to information
You can read the full text of the Convention on the UN website.
The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)
The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) protects the human rights of people in countries that belong to the Council of Europe. All 47 Member States of the Council, including the UK, have signed the Convention. The Convention consists of numbered ‘articles’ protecting basic human rights. The UK made these rights part of its domestic law through the Human Rights Act 1998.
You can read the full text of the Convention on the European Court of Human Rights website.
For more press information contact the Commission's media office on:
- 0161 829 8102
- 07767 272 818 (out of hours)
Latest News from
Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
Final Board Effectiveness Review published28/11/2023 13:25:00
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published its last Board Effectiveness Review as part of its ongoing governance and transparency review. This was carried out in 2022.
Live Nation commits to improve festival accessibility through legal agreement with equality watchdog24/11/2023 09:15:00
Live Nation (Music) UK Limited, on behalf of itself and festival operator Festival Republic, has signed a legally binding agreement with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) following accessibility concerns at two UK festivals.
Major watchdog report reveals progress and challenges in Britain’s pursuit of equality and human rights protections17/11/2023 10:20:00
A comprehensive examination of Britain’s equality and human rights landscape over the past five years has been published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
Equality watchdog response following Supreme Court judgment on Rwanda asylum policy16/11/2023 10:15:00
A spokesperson for the Equality and Human Rights Commission responds to the Supreme Court judgment on Rwanda asylum policy
Scottish Legal Aid Board takes steps to further embed equality in its work15/11/2023 10:10:10
Britain’s equality watchdog has concluded a legal agreement with the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB), after the public body responsible for administering legal assistance in Scotland improved its equality practices.
Statement regarding recent protests14/11/2023 09:25:00
Baroness Kishwer Falkner, Chairwoman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission recently gave a statement on the recent protests.
The Equality Act 2010 (Amendment) Regulations 202309/11/2023 11:25:00
A spokesperson for the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) responds to the Equality Act 2010 (Amendment) Regulations 2023
Equality watchdog to intervene in landmark legal case06/11/2023 11:10:00
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is to intervene in a landmark legal case.