A human rights commission has expressed “deep concerns” over the reduction and withdrawal of support for people living in Scotland who rely on care services in their own homes.
A new report by the Scottish Human Rights Commission details how the removal of care plans during the COVID-19 pandemic has had a “direct and detrimental effect” on people’s rights.
The research highlights evidence of people who had been left in “dire situations” after having their care packages reduced or cut “overnight”. Some were left to sleep in wheelchairs, unable to get out of bed and dress themselves and family members were forced into caring roles.
The commission has called for the Scottish Government and Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) to jointly commit to the return of care and support at pre-pandemic levels, as a minimum.
It also calls for better data collection mechanisms to be established by the Scottish Government, and for public authorities to use human rights as a tool to inform future decisions about people’s care and support.
Judith Robertson, Chair of the Commission, said: “Social care is an essential investment in realising people’s rights, particularly those of us who are disabled, older or provide unpaid care. Delivered properly, social care should enable people to access their rights to family life, health, education, employment and independent living in the community, among others.
“That’s why the Commission is deeply concerned about the reduction and withdrawal of social care support to people during COVID-19, and the impact this is having on their rights.
“Ultimately the Commission wants to see a social care system, based on human rights, capable of delivering the outcomes which are enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”