Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
Equality body to examine the right to challenge decisions about adult social care
The ability to challenge decisions made by local councils about adult social care will be scrutinised in our latest inquiry.
Decisions about people’s access to social care or support – such as someone’s entitlement to it and what kind they can access – can seriously affect the dignity and inclusion of many disabled and older adults as well as unpaid carers, and impact their ability to live the life they choose. It is vital that people can easily challenge a decision if they feel that it leaves them without the right support.
We have launched our new inquiry after a range of organisations working on issues facing disabled and older people raised concerns that people faced barriers to complaining about or challenging decisions related to their social care.
Looking specifically at England and Wales, we will examine people’s experiences of challenging decisions made by their local councils about social care or support for older and disabled people and unpaid carers. We will look to see if these decisions can be meaningfully challenged if they fall short, and if the existing ways to do so are accessible and effective, including whether high quality advocacy support is available.
We will also explore:
- if people are made aware of their rights to social care and support, and how they can challenge a decision they feel is wrong;
- whether local councils and other relevant bodies learn from challenges to improve decision-making in future, and
- whether effective systems are in place to check the quality and consistency of decision-making about people’s access to social care or support.
The inquiry will lead to a number of recommendations for local and national governments as well as other relevant organisations.
Baroness Kishwer Falkner, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:
“Decisions about social care and support carry crucial equality and human rights implications for people’s lives. They can affect the choice, control and dignity of older people, disabled people and unpaid carers, and their ability to maintain relationships, live independently and participate in their communities.
“We know that the social care system has been under significant pressure and many problems have been exacerbated by the pandemic. With vital decisions about people’s care being made under such pressure, it is essential that there are effective ways to challenge them if people feel they have been left without the support they need.
“That is why we are using our legal powers to launch this inquiry, to help make sure that everyone can live a dignified life and that people can speak up if they feel a decision has left them without the right care.”
Our inquiry team will gather evidence from adults affected by the issues in its terms of reference, organisations that provide advice, support and/or advocacy services to people trying to navigate the social care system, as well as local councils and national governments.
A short survey asking for views from social care users and their loved ones, as well as unpaid carers, has also been launched to kick-start the inquiry’s evidence collection.
The full inquiry report will be published in 2022.
Press contact details
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)
Jaguar Land Rover Ltd signs a legal agreement with EHRC14/10/2021 13:20:00
The agreement and action plan comes after Ms Taylor successfully brought claims against Jaguar Land Rover, saying she had suffered abuse and a lack of support, in a tribunal case which saw an English court recognising non-binary or gender fluid identity as being protected under the Equality Act 2010 for the first time.
Pay gap break comes to an end as reporting deadline looms01/10/2021 10:25:00
Companies with 250 or more employees are being reminded that that they are required to report their gender pay gap by Tuesday 5 October.
Scottish Qualifications Authority signs legal agreement to improve equality practices30/09/2021 11:15:00
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has signed an agreement with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to improve its equality practices.
Updated evidence of human rights progress available on human rights regulator’s tracker16/09/2021 14:15:00
From today, organisations and individuals can find evidence of action and progress by the UK and Welsh Governments across 11 new human rights topics on our Human Rights Tracker.
Scottish Legal Aid Board sign legal agreement to improve approach to equality26/07/2021 14:33:00
The Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) have signed a legal agreement with Britain’s national equality body, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), committing them to improving their assessment and review of the impact of their policies on people with protected characteristics which will put equality considerations at the centre of their work.
Restraint must be monitored on a par with exclusions, says equality body30/06/2021 10:25:00
The use of restraint in schools should be monitored, recorded and analysed with the same rigour as exclusions, according to our new report.
Response to independent investigation into discrimination in the Conservative Party26/05/2021 11:25:00
A spokesperson from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, responded to the independent investigation into discrimination in the Conservative Party
Updated evidence of UK and Wales human rights progress available on human rights tracker21/05/2021 14:43:00
As of yesterday, organisations and individuals can find evidence of action and progress by the UK and Welsh Governments across 12 new human rights topics on HumanRightsTracker.com.