Calls for Legislation to Protect and Promote the Rights of Older People

The Welsh Conservatives’ Shadow Minister for Social Care and Older People - Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has responded to the statement made today by Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, by calling for older people’s rights to be protected in law.

In her statement, the Deputy Minister noted that the Welsh Government:

  • is providing increased support to care homes
  • is providing targeted advice for people over 70 who are considered to be at-risk
  • is not issuing a blanket ban on older people going out
  • has met the Ministerial Advisory Forum on Ageing
  • is complying with legal obligations to protect and uphold the rights of everyone in Wales
  • has commissioned independent research on how to further strengthen equality and human rights
  • will continue to work on the Strategy for an Ageing Society

Responding to the statement, the Mrs Finch-Saunders said:

“Older people have a right to be treated with dignity and respect.

“According to the United Nations Principles for Older Persons, older people should, for example, have access to adequate health care, be able to live in environments that are safe, benefit from community care and protection, and be treated fairly.

“This pandemic has shown that Wales is a long way off achieving so many of these vitally important principals.

“It is true that communities have rallied round to support the most vulnerable, but we have also seen older and vulnerable people feel pressured into signing Do Not Attempt CPR forms, found that that only 28% of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 deaths of adult care home residents were located in a hospital, and seen the Welsh Government unjustifiably delay on care home testing.

“Older people’s experiences during this pandemic have strengthened the case for further protection of their rights in law and improved knowledge and recognition of these rights.

“Unlike the Deputy Minister who wants to continue working on a strategy, undertake meetings, and research how to strengthen equality and human rights, it is time for clear positive action.

“I will be proposing a Bill enshrining the rights of Wales’s older people in our legislature”.