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BASW England responds to ADASS report on Covid response

Report mirrors concerns from BASW England Adults group, especially on care act easements

BASW England welcomes the candid analysis in ADASS' recently released report Themes and Learning from ADASS Members on the Local Response to COVID-19 in Spring and Early Summer 2020.

We are pleased that ADASS has addressed concerns we expressed from the outset, about the amount of ‘groundwork’ required of each local authority to apply the new human rights threshold.

The national guidance aimed to ensure that the necessary prioritisation in meeting needs would be transparent, but this did not happen.  

As the report points out opting for easements was often experienced as “too difficult” and resulted in local authorities “operating easements informally” and therefore with less transparency.

Our concern is that as the second wave starts to impact on adult social care, ‘informal easement’ will become established practice.

We reiterate our call to the Department of Health and Social Care to stop this vague human rights threshold from being used, and urgently work on revised national guidance to create a prioritisation framework within which social work professional judgement can be clearly and transparently located.

Social workers have a responsibility to ensure ethical and professional standards of practice are always maintained. This includes promoting and upholding the rights of the people they work with and escalating concerns when their professional’s practice may be impaired due to discriminatory national/local guidance or practice.