The EHRC Outlines Nine Principles for Social Care Equality

Fri,12 May 2023
News Health & Social Care
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the non-departmental public body responsible for promoting and enforcing equality and non-discrimination laws, has published a new report on equality and human rights in social care.

The organisation wants to see equality and human rights be built into social care and those principles to guide decision-making, as well as reform in the sector. They hope the new report will be used by:

  • Governments and parliamentarians: when making decisions about social care frameworks, funding and reform.
  • Social care commissioners, providers, and social workers: to help embed equality and human rights into policy and practice.
  • Regulators: to help guide their important work to improve standards in the social care sector. 
  • Those with care needs and carers (and those who advise and support them): as a resource to help them understand and realise their rights.

The EHRC outlines nine principles for social care in their new report.

  1. Available - the system should be sufficiently and sustainably funded to be available to everyone.
  2. Accessible - services should be easy to navigate and must anticipate Disabled people's needs.
  3. Person-centred - care should be tailored to individuals' needs.
  4. Choice and control - people should get control and selection over what care they get and how it is provided.
  5. Community and connection - people should be supported to live in their own homes.
  6. Effective redress - routes to challenge decisions should be effective and accessible.
  7. Robust regulation - human rights and equality should be the focus of regulators.
  8. Support for unpaid carers - services should work in partnership with unpaid carers.
  9. A valued workforce - caring should be a valued profession with fair pay and treatment. 

Mikey Erhardt, Policy and Campaigns Officer, said:

"For many of us, the social care system is failing to uphold our human rights under the Care Act, equality act and Human Rights Act. Moving forward, we want to see those involved in commissioning, decision-making and regulating social care services focusing on creating a system that works for us. 

The social care system is central to enabling us to live independent, fulfilling, active lives. The EHRC's new report outlines clear routes to ensuring social care promotes dignity, supports us to live how we want and be part of our local community, no matter our age or circumstance."