Thirteen NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups have been forced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission to review their Continuing Healthcare policies and structures following damning reports that found the human rights of severely disabled people breached.

Despite NHS Continuing Healthcare bodies being in place to support disabled people and provide vital life sustaining care, it was found that policies were failing to meet specific and tailored needs, leaving severely disabled people in unsafe, unsuitable and unacceptable levels of care.

With some finding themselves forced into residential care as part of their post hospital package of care, the EHRC threatened to take legal action over the policies that “breach the human rights of patients”.

In many cases, it was found that homecare packages were only slightly more expensive than the residential care disabled people were moved into against their will.

But now the 13 have been forced into a U-turn being ordered to improve their services.

Dr Rupert Earl, Spinal Injuries Association chair, said: “This is a victory for people with complex healthcare needs. Our members have consistently told us harrowing accounts of the impact of these shameful policies on their health and well-being. These NHS organisations have further marginalized severely disabled people and denied them choice in their care.  This is entirely wrong, especially when with the right support they would be able to live at home with the families who love them and to lead fulfilled, productive lives.  That’s why we’ve been working closely with the EHRC to assist them to compel CCGs to meet their lawful obligations to spinal-cord injured individuals.”

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