Clause 5

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 15th January 2008.

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Photo of Kelvin Hopkins Kelvin Hopkins Labour, Luton North 12:45 pm, 15th January 2008

I thank the hon. Gentleman for making that important point. My concern is not to reduce pressure on the Government to introduce legislation soon to give effect to the objective of my amendment, so that care home residents in my constituency and elsewhere are protected and have the same rights as those in public care homes.

People have come to my surgery with problems in private care homes that have had to be addressed, and one was closed not so long ago. Such issues will not go away until private care homes are covered by the Human Rights Acts. The industry may not be keen on that, because it suggests that there will be greater  pressure to perform well, and to behave decently to all their residents. Some care homes do a good job, and I am not disparaging those that do so, but clearly some do not. We need the force of law to ensure that the human rights of private care home residents are guaranteed to the same level as those in public care homes.

I shall reluctantly withdraw my amendment, but I hope that improved amendments will be tabled during the Bill’s progress in both Houses, and I hope to speak  on them and to pursue the matter. It would not be helpful for my amendment to be defeated, but I hope that the Government will not just talk about future, more general legislation, but include in the Bill the rights of those in private care homes. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.