ARC has recently been working with John’s Campaign in connection with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) visiting guidance.
We were seeking a judicial review of the guidance because we felt that the bases on which people living in a registered care setting were required by the guidance to self-isolate for fourteen days discriminated against people with a learning disability, autism or both. We think they also discriminate against other people, for example people living with dementia.
In recent weeks the guidance has been changed twice by the DHSC and in each case the changes were made so that people in care homes could do the same things that any citizen of the UK (who was minded to comply with broader Government guidance and social-distancing) could already do.
Whilst these changes are of course welcome, it seems to be both wasteful and unnecessary that it took the physical and emotional energy, time and cost needed for John’s Campaign to prepare for and seek the judicial review before the Department was prepared to make fair and reasonable changes to the guidance that were so obviously needed.
We think that if the Department were to increase transparency, develop genuine collaboration with providers and real consultation with families, this would create a much less adversarial atmosphere which would make life better and easier for people who are supported in registered residential care settings.
We also think these changes would help providers that are trying to operate services safely and who are working with a great many iterations of guidance documents that can be complex, inconsistent and difficult to navigate and challenging to implement.
We think they would also help the families who so often have the best and deepest understanding of what is right for the individual living in the care setting and it is for these reasons that we have agreed that the witness statement prepared in support of the judicial review should be made publicly available.
The Holding Pen John’s Campaign booklet based on testimonies sent directly to John’s Campaign or via the Rights for Residents group during the bank holiday weekend 29th-31st May 2021.
Clive Parry, ARC England Director