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National Statements - Charter of Rights to Community Care for Older People in the United Kingdom


The following Framework for a Charter of Rights to Community Care for Older People was developed by Age Concern England in 1989 for community care providers throughout the United Kingdom. The purpose was to give them a model which they could use in developing similar charters at the local level in full consultation with older people and other concerned persons and groups. Age Concern urged "every care providing agency to develop its own charter outlining its role in relation to older people, the principles underlying this, and the services that could be offered to them and their carers." For further information, contact:

Age Concern England
Astral House
1268 London Road
London SW16 4EJ
England Fax: 44/181-679-6069

Statement Of Purpose
Each older person has the right to a life which maintains personal independence, safeguards privacy, offers genuine and informed choices, provides opportunities to enjoy and contribute to society as fully as possible and meets her/his social, cultural and individual needs.

If such an independent life involves a degree of risk which the older person accepts, the authority will respect such a wish and endeavor to support the individual wherever possible.

Rights For Individual Older People

  • The right to receive a list of the services the organisation provides (if a statutory service include separate lists showing what the authority must, may and could provide).

  • The right to easily understood information about services and the ways in which they are provided.

  • The right to know how information can be obtained and to obtain that information in a straightforward way.

  • The right for older people and their carers to receive an assessment of their needs and to know how to obtain this.

  • The right to know who makes decisions and on what basis this is done.

  • The right to know how services will be provided and who will provide them for older people and their carers and how services can be re-arranged if required.

  • The right to obtain a statement of the resources available to those who provide services.

  • The right to be asked about the quality of services provided and that any views are recorded.

  • The right of access to a complaints procedure and how to find out about this.

  • The right to confidentiality, access to any information held on file, and to know on what basis any information might be shared with others.

  • The right where necessary to an advocate, and a transcription or interpreting service.

  • A guarantee that these rights to older people and their carers will be upheld.

  • The guarantee that the charter will be respected and its provisions regularly reviewed in the light of shortcomings or new legislation.