Sunday, January 16, 2022

People at risk have been denied vaccines by “anti-vaccination” carers and families

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People with learning disabilities and early people with dementia are being refused vaccines by anti-vaccination carers and families amid concerns about gaps in the NHS’s oversight of this group.

Several reports have been received LatestPageNews Warning Vulnerable people, such as those with severe learning disabilities who lack intellectual capacity, are denied vaccinations by caregivers and family members.

The news comes after reports that people with severe learning disabilities are struggling to get a Covid booster despite being in one of the six priority groups.

Legal experts have raised concerns that healthcare professionals are not challenging these denials as required, while in some cases where the decision is being appealed it takes months to reach the Court of Protection.

A senior GP has also suggested current loopholes in the NHS vaccine registration system mean vaccine centers can easily avoid challenging families when refusing vaccines for vulnerable patients.

Aasya Moghul, Director of Mental Capacity Act training company, Edge Training LatestPageNews: “We have heard from numerous examples of people who lack the mental capacity to give or refuse their consent to be vaccinated against Covid-19 because a loved one objects to not being vaccinated.

“Regrettably, in these examples, the professionals involved in the individual’s health and social care did not take the necessary steps to promptly file an application with the Court of Protection. In some cases, the person contracted Covid-19 and subsequently died. It’s not about blaming families in any way. This is about the gaps in professional practice due to a lack of knowledge and awareness of the steps they should take when such a dispute arises.”

She added that relatives may have valid reasons for refusing the vaccine for their loved one, but in these circumstances, if the vaccine is deemed by a doctor to be in the person’s best interests, an application should be made to the protective court.

Speak with LatestPageNews A social worker in London said she had had two cases in recent months where an elderly patient with dementia had not received his vaccinations after the family refused.

She said the nursing home she worked with was unaware that they had to do a mental capacity assessment and have a doctor do it, as well as a welfare assessment, and so the patients were not vaccinated.

According to the Senior GP Leader in London, there were large disparities in rejection rates between GP practices and CCGs for patients in priority groups six and four, which include people with learning disabilities and long-term health problems.

Internal data for his group of multiple practices showed a 10 percent difference in the rejection rates of some practices within that group, with some of the practices having “enormous” rejection rates.

Speaking at practices with higher rejection rates, the GP head said: “I think people have been lazy not to look for approval from hard-to-reach groups, they have high unvaccinated rates that aren’t looking good so just flag them as rejected if.” they do not answer. Once they are marked as rejected, they will be removed from the list of people to be vaccinated.”

“For people who may be on the learning disability list or who may have had a history of consent issues, we need to be more careful about that. Some practices may be doing this because they are being criticized (over immunization rates), for example in the fall there was a national push into the worst performing immunization areas. The rules work in such a way that if a patient has declined, their stats improve immediately.”

Meanwhile, when families are challenged, recent examples heard by the Court of Protection have shown it has taken months to process decisions about me.

In a recent case heard on December 17, the Court of Protection ruled it was in the best interests of a woman with severe learning disabilities to receive the Covid vaccines after her parents initially refused to allow it. Although the woman should have been vaccinated in May, the case was not heard until December.

In reports of a case heard on December 23, a judge criticized delays in health and care services and made an application to the court after a man in his 30s with severe cerebral palsy and a learning disability failed to receive a vaccine like his The mother objected to the website Open Justice.

Speak with LatestPageNews Oliver Lewis, an attorney who has appeared in Court of Protection vaccine cases, said: “Unless they are the health and social advocate or representative of the disabled person, no one – not even a close relative – has a veto over whether a disabled person is disabled person receives a vaccination.”

“If a person refuses to vaccinate their disabled relative, physicians should follow the Mental Capacity Act if they believe the disabled person has no capacity to make vaccination decisions.”

“In the event of a dispute over the capacity or welfare of vaccination, the GP or his CCG should make an urgent application to the Court of Protection to make decisions. Otherwise it may well be unlawful.”

“People with learning disabilities became eligible to receive their first vaccination in May 2021. The Court of Protection should have dealt with all of these vaccination cases months ago, given what we know about the impact of Covid on people with learning disabilities and the life-saving potential of vaccination.”

Dan Scorer, head of policy and public affairs at learning disabilities charity Mencap, said: “Throughout the pandemic, research has shown that people with a learning disability are more likely to die from Covid than the general population and the vaccine is a key way forward to protect people.

“The decision to get vaccinated or not is an individual one. The Mental Engagement Act is based on the principle that people with learning disabilities require their ability to make their own decisions and should be supported in a way that is appropriate to their individual needs.”

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