Residential care homes have been at the centre of the Covid-19 pandemic with many being locked down for months, blanket use of do no resuscitate orders, and residents denied visits and even in some cases access to routine as well as urgent medical care.
Professor Wayne Martin, from the School of Philosophy and Art History, and Professor Sabine Michalowski, from the School of Law, will lead a £215,000 project, with 80% of the funding provided by the UKRI COVID-19 Rapid Response funding scheme, to help ensure human rights are upheld.
“We are all aware of the public health crisis that we are living through, and of the economic crisis associated with it, but there is also a human rights crisis, and care homes have been at its epicentre,” said Professor Martin, Director of the Essex Autonomy Project (EAP).
“Some residents have found themselves confined to their bedrooms for extended periods, denied visits with loved ones, without access to hospital care, palliative care or even access to a GP. Just this week the Care Quality Commission has announced an urgent investigation into the unlawful use of ‘Do Not Attempt Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation’ orders. At the same time, care home staff have been placed in an impossible position.”
The new funding will support the EAP’s existing partnership with the National Mental Capacity Forum and its CPD training for frontline staff with responsibility for assessing the lawfulness of deprivations of liberty for residents in care homes in England and Wales.