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Your Rights

Equality


If you have a health and social care need or care for someone who does then it is important to know what your rights are.

If you have a disability you have rights to be protected from discrimination in most areas of society.

This includes discrimination from –

  • access to community activity
  • access to goods, services and facilities
  • education
  • emergency services
  • employment
  • healthcare
  • public services

These rights are laid out in a number of laws. To be denied these rights would be considered unlawful.

Visit GOV.UK – Disability rights for more information

The Human Rights Act 1998

The Human Rights Act 1998 sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms that everyone in the UK is entitled to. It incorporates the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic British law. The Human Rights Act came into force in the UK in October 2000.

Visit the ECHR website to find more information on the Human Rights Act 1998

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act became law in 2010 and brings together over 116 separate pieces of legislation into one single act. Combined, they make up a new act that provides a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all.

The act provides a new discrimination law which protect you from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society. It covers everyone in Britain and protects people from discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

Visit GOV.UK Equality Act 2010 guidance to find out more

Visit GOV.UK – definition of disability

Visit GOV.UK – discrimination your rights

Care Act 2014

The Care Act 2014 is a new law about care and support for adults in England.

The new law means that people will be able to get help earlier and are supported to stay independent and in control. 

When people do need support, there is a limit on how much they have to pay towards this over their lifetime.

The main focus of the act are to promote wellbeing and to prevent or delay the development of needs. We want to make sure you have as much control as possible and to make sure everyone works together.

The Care Act's main themes are –

  • there will be one national set of eligibility criteria so that people with the same needs get the same level of support wherever they live in the country
  • anyone who appears to need support will be able to get an assessment which will be based on risk and the impact their needs have on their life
  • carers will be entitled to more services in their own right. This will be based on risk and the impact that caring has on their life
  • it will be easier to get information and advice about what services and support are available, and what choices are available
  • a cap on the amount of money each individual is expected to contribute towards the cost

Visit GOV.UK – Care Act factsheets to find more information 

Find out more about support available for carers

Advocacy
(Someone to speak on your behalf)

If someone speaks on your behalf, they are commonly known as an advocate.

An advocate can be a friend, a family member of a carer. The important thing is that they know you well and, are able to put your thoughts, needs and wants across when you are unable to.

An advocate represents your best interests and, if you are vulnerable, makes sure you are safeguarded from harm.

The role of an advocate is to make sure people who may not be able to represent their views clearly can be supported, make their own decisions about the care and support they receive. This may be people with learning disabilities or mental ill health issues, or even older people.

Advocates remain independent from social care providers, and try not to influence the decision maker or put forward their own opinions.

Aside from people who know you well, there are also professional advocacy services, such as –

  • solicitors
  • Professional Advocacy service
  • money management advocates like the Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Healthwatch Hull who can advocate your experiences and concerns relating to the health and social care services you receive
  • The Professional Advocacy and Support Services (PASS) who operate in Hull and East Riding and offer independent support to adults with a disability as well as family carers.

Hull Adult Social Care has an independent advocacy service for people who are in discussions with the Council regarding their care and support needs. If you meet the eligibility criteria, your support worker will request that an advocate be available to support you.

Our local groups and activities directory have some listings for organisations that run advocacy services.

Visit our Local groups and activities directory and search ‘advocacy’

Managing someone else’s' affair's

You may wish to think about what will happen if you become unable to manage your own finances. A Power of Attorney is a legal document, which authorises one or more people to handle your financial affairs. You can set up a Power of Attorney for a limited time, or to deal with a specific situation.

Ordinary Power of Attorney 

An Ordinary Power of Attorney allows you to nominate one or more people to deal with your finances on your behalf. 

The document can be general and cover every aspect of your affairs, or you can specify which matters your attorney can deal with. 

You can end the arrangement at any time and the document automatically becomes invalid if you lose mental capacity. 

You may wish to consider an Ordinary Power of Attorney if you - 

  • are going abroad for a period of time
  • are going into hospital or are physically unable to manage your finances due to illness or disability
  • would like someone else to deal with a particular financial matter, for example, selling your property

To complete an ordinary power of attorney, you should contact a solicitor or senior adviser. You can contact Hull and East Riding Citizens Advice Bureau for information on Ordinary Power of Attorney. You can contact them via - 

in person – 

Citizens Advice Hull & East Riding (CAB)The Wislon Centre

Alfred Gelder Street,

Hull,

HU1 2AG

Visit the Hull and East Riding Citizen’s Advice Bureau

Advance statement

An advance statement is a general statement of your wishes of anything that is important to you in relation to your future health and wellbeing.

You can use it to express your preferences around care or to detail any values or beliefs to inform the decisions you make.

Visit NHS Choices – Advance statement for more information

Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.

This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and can’t make your own decisions (you ‘lack mental capacity’).

You must be 18 or over and have mental capacity (the ability to make your own decisions) when you make your LPA

You don’t need to live in the UK or be a British citizen.

There are two types of LPA -

  • health and welfare
  • property and financial affairs

You can choose to make one type or both.

An LPA can be cancelled at any time, but only before you lose mental capacity.

Both types of LPA’s must be created in a specific format. You can obtain the forms from the GOV.UK website or you can instruct a solicitor to prepare one for you.

Visit the GOV.UK website to download the LPA paper forms

Visit GOV.UK website to apply for a LPA online

You must register your LPA before it becomes legal binding.

There is a £82 fee in order to register each LPA. However, deeding on your financial circumstances, you may be eligible for a reduced fee or it may even be free. You are given an opportunity to apply for a reduced rate at the end of the application process.

Court Appointed Deputies

If you need to deal with someone’s finances when they have lost mental capacity but have not made a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) you need to apply to be a Court Appointed Deputy.

The application is made through the Court of Protection and if the court appoints you as a deputy you are given certain responsibilities and duties. The Court of Protection is administered by the Office of the Public Guardian.

Visit GOV.UK -Office of the Public Guardian.here

Visit GOV.UK - Deputies - make decisions for someone who lacks capacity for more information

Mental Capacity Act 2005

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides a legal framework to empower and protect vulnerable people who are not able to make their own decisions.

The act has five key principles -

  • a presumption of capacity - every adult has the right to make his or her own decisions and must be assumed to have capacity to do so unless it is proved otherwise
  • the right for individuals to be supported to make their own decisions - people must be given all appropriate help before anyone concludes that they cannot make their own decisions 
  • that individuals must retain the right to make what might be seen as eccentric or unwise decisions 
  • anything done for or on behalf of people without capacity must be in their best interests
  • least restrictive intervention – before a decision is made on someone’s behalf, consideration has to be made on how the outcome could be achieved in an alternative way which does not interfere with their basic rights and freedom 

The act is there to protect you if you cannot make a decision at a particular time due to your mind and brain being affected.

Just because someone has one of these health conditions does not mean they lack capacity.

It makes it clear who can take decisions and in which situations and how they should go about this. It enables people to plan ahead for a time when they themselves may lose mental capacity.

If someone lacks capacity, then the act allows people to lawfully provide care and treatment as long as it is in their best interests.

The test of whether you are able to make a decision for yourself includes assessing whether you can understand –

  • in general terms the decision that needs to be made and why it needs to be made
  • the consequences of making or not making the decision
  • and weigh up information that is relevant to the decision

The test often involves support from family, friends and care providers. If you have no one to support or represent you, you may be given the help of an independent advocate.

Just because you cannot make a particular decision does not mean that you cannot make any decisions at all.

If someone cannot make a decision at one time, that does not mean they are incapable of making a decision at another time.

Visit NHS Choices - What is the Mental Capacity Act to find our more here

Organisations that offer support 

Advicelocal

This is an online database which covers -

  • benefits
  • tax credits
  • council tax
  • debt and money advice
  • housing and homelessness
  • employment and work issues
  • disability and social care
  • asylum and immigration

You just need to put your postcode in and the issue you want advice on and you are shown more information as well as details of advice centres in your area.

Visit the Advicelocal website

Age UK

Age UK Advice is a free, confidential, national phone service for older people, their families, friends, carers and professionals. They have a team of expert advisers who give you information that is reliable and up to date including –

  • understanding what benefits to claim and how to claim them
  • retirement and financial affairs
  • information on planned hospital stays and how to cope when you leave
  • advice on choosing the right care home

You can contact their free helpline between 8am to 7pm 365 days a year via - 

  • telephone: 0800 055 6112

Visit Age UK – advice line to find out more

Bar Pro Bono Unit

The Bar Pro Bono Unit is a charity which helps to find pro bono (free) legal assistance from volunteer barristers.

Visit the Bar Pro Bono Unit website to find out more

You can also contact them via -

Carers UK

Carers UK provides advice and information to carers on a range of topics including –

  • financial support
  • practical support
  • health
  • work and career
  • your relationships
  • technology and equipment
  • get support
  • getting resources

Visit their Carers UK website to find more information 

Alternatively Carers UK also have an advice line which provide information and advice on -

  • benefits and tax credits
  • carers employment rights
  • carers’ assessments
  • the services available for carers
  • how to complain effectively and challenge decisions
  • Their listening service is there for you to talk through your caring situation with a trained volunteer who understands what you are going through.

You can contact them via -

  • telephone: 08088 087 777 (between 10am to 4pm on Monday and Tuesday)

Choices and Rights

Choices and Rights are an organisation run and controlled exclusively by disabled people in the Hull and the East Riding area. They believe that the best experts on the needs of disabled people are disabled people themselves.

They offer independent advice and information for people with disabilities (excluding welfare benefits). This includes information on - 

  • your rights
  • accessibility issues
  • employment queries
  • the Blue Badge scheme

Visit the Choices and Rights website to find out more 

Alternatively you can contact them via -

They are based at – 

The Hull Centre for Independent Living

Jude Lodge (Tiverton House)

Tiverton Road

Bransholme

Hull

HU7 4DQ

Citizens Advice Hull and East Riding

Citizens Advice Hull and East Riding (CAB) provides free, confidential, impartial and independent advice and information on a wide range of subjects. These include –

  • debt
  • money advice
  • benefits
  • employment
  • housing
  • relationships and family
  • consumer travel
  • tax
  • health
  • immigration
  • discrimination problems

Whatever information you are looking for or advice you need, Citizens Advice Hull and East Riding can either provide it for you or direct you to a service that can. 

You can contact them via –

n person at - 

The Wilson Centre

Citizens Advice Hull & East Riding (CAB)

The Wislon Centre

Alfred Gelder Street

Hull

HU1 2AG

Civil Legal Advice (CLA)

You might be able to get free and confidential advice from Civil Legal Advice (CLA) as part of legal aid if you’re in England or Wales.
If you’re eligible, you can get help from CLA for problems including:- 

  • debt, if your home is at risk
  • housing, if you’re homeless or at risk of being evicted
  • domestic abuse
  • separating from an abusive partner, when you’re making arrangements for children or sorting out money and property
  • a child being taken into care
  • special education needs
  • discrimination
  • some child abduction cases

Visit GOV,UK – Civil Legal Advice here

Disability Law Service

Disability Law Service provides specialist legal advice for disabled people, their families and carers on the following subjects -

  • community care
  • disability discrimination

Visit the Disability law services website for more information 

Alternatively you can contact them via -

  • telephone 02077 919 800

Disability Rights UK

The Disability Rights UK website has lots of factsheets that can give you advice and guidance on a whole range of matters relating to your rights and staying independent.

Visit the Disability Rights UK website – factsheets for more information

Equality Advisory Support Service

The EASS provides information about discrimination and your rights. It has replaced the helpline service previously provided by the Equality.

For more information and advice about discrimination and human rights issues contact the EASS via -

Their helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm and Saturday, 10am to 2pm.

Law Works

Law Works is a charity working in England and Wales to connect volunteer lawyers with people in need of legal advice.
They help people who are not eligible for legal aid but are unable to afford to pay.

Visit the Law Works website for more information

Legal Aid Agency - Community Legal Advice

This is an online database which enables you to search for legal advisers solicitors or family mediators near you.

Visit the GOV.UK website to find a legal aid or family mediator here 

Healthwatch Hull

The NHS Complaints Advocacy Service is free, independent and confidential. It offers practical support and information on how to make an NHS complaint. This service is delivered by Healthwatch Hull.

You can contact them via-

Mencap

Mencap has lots of information and support for people with learning disabilities and their families.

Visit the Mencap website

The Learning Disability Helpline is a free help and advice line.

Their advisors can offer you advice and information about learning disability and help you find the right support and Mencap services in your area.

Anyone can contact the Learning Disability Helpline about anything to do with learning disabilities. We provide information and advice for people with a learning disability, families and carers.

The Learning Disability Helpline also provides information and advice to anyone wanting to know about learning disability issues and services. Contact them via -

Mencap Hull

Mencap Hull has an advocacy service that can support people who have learning disabilities, Autism and Asperger’s. They can advocate and support you in range of issues to help you get the outcome you want.

You can contact the advocacy worker via -

  • telephone 01482 211 473

Patients Association

The Patients Association helpline is a national helpline providing specialist information, advice and signposting to help people navigate the often complex world of health and social care.

They are not medically trained and cannot give medical or legal advice.
A call back service is provided for those who call out of hours.

You can contact them via –

Visit the Patients Association website 

Scope

The Scope helpline provides free, independent and impartial information and support on issues that matter to disabled people and their families.

Visit the Scope website to find out more

Alternatively, you can contact them via - telephone

  • 08088 003 333
Last reviewed: 13/02/2018