Health Secretary faces legal challenge – LDT

Health Secretary may face High Court challenge over alleged human rights breaches

Matt Hancock receives pre-action letter from Equality and Human Rights Commission after “consistently failing patients with learning disabilities and autism”.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has launched a legal challenge against the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care over the repeated failure to move people with learning disabilities and autism into appropriate accommodation.

“We cannot afford to risk further abuse being inflicted on even a single more person at the distressing and horrific levels we have seen. We need the DHSC to act now.”

The EHRC is the regulatory body responsible for enforcing the Equality Act 2010. It has longstanding concerns about the rights of more than 2,000 people with learning disabilities and autism being detained in secure hospitals, often far away from home and for many years. These concerns increased significantly following the BBC’s exposure of the violation of patients’ human rights at Whorlton Hall, where patients suffered horrific physical and psychological abuse.

The human rights body has now sent a pre-action letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock, arguing that the Department of Health and Social Care has breached the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) for failing to meet the targets set in the Transforming Care programme and Building the Right Support programme.

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