Nurses Win Case To Do Care Work

Four nurses have won their High Court case against measures to stop them doing care work. The nurses had been suspended over questions about their conduct. The judge said the government measures, introduced to protect vulnerable people from ill-treatment by care workers, contravened the nurses’ human rights. The nurses, from Kent and Oxfordshire, were wrongly denied the right of a hearing when provisionally suspended from their work, said their lawyers.

The legal challenge was backed by the Royal College of Nursing. Mr Justice Stanley Burnton ruled that the relevant measures under Part VII of the Care Standards Act 2000 were “incompatible with the right of the claimants – and no doubt others – under the European Convention on Human Rights”.

He ruled that the four had been denied the right to a fair trial and said the care standards provisions were “disproportionate in their adverse effects on the rights of care workers”.

For example, too little regard was given to the nurses’ right to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families, he said.

The Protection of Vulnerable Adults List, introduced under legislation that took effect in July 2004, can prevent nurses and care workers from working in care homes, including old people’s accommodation, or with vulnerable adults needing assistance in their own homes, if questions have been raised about their professional conduct.

Nurses June Wright, from Banbury, Oxon, Khemraj Jummun, from Kidlington, Oxford, Barbara Gambier, of Rolvenden, Cranbrook, Kent, and Mary Quinn, from Coxheath, Kent, were banned from working for several months pending a final decision on whether their listing was to be confirmed.