To all NDY UK members and supporters
We are picking up some worrying COVID -19 practices that discriminate unfairly against disabled people. As a result, we are asking you to consider the four bullet points below and take action:
Everybody, we need to act fast – We need a firm pledge that we will be treated fairly and equally at this difficult time.
- Write to your GP and ask them not to join in with the Do Not Resuscitate / Advance Directives drive, which has seen some GPs call patients asking them to forfeit hospital treatment if they get pneumonia. Explain that contacting patients individually in this way, at this time, places unfair and discriminatory pressure on people who may be in a vulnerable situation because all do not have appropriate services and support.
- Consider writing to either your GP, local CCG, Simon Stevens CEO of NHS England or your local MP, asking them to advocate fairly for all patients to have their treatment assessed alongside everyone else, based on current clinical assessment and judgement which has been subject to thorough scrutiny by the Health Ethics Commission, EHRC and patient’s/disabled people consultative groups.
- Please remind anyone you write to from above that the Equality Act and the Human Rights Act must be adhered to when assessing disabled people for healthcare during the COVID19 period.
- Please write to the Chair or CEO of NICE to Oppose the use of their current Frailty Score in relation to Coronavirus. The NICE Frailty Score has not been a collaborative exercise involving disabled people’s organisations or patients groups, it is highly divisive. This is not the time to bring in guidance on who is worthy to treat and who isn’t. Hospital doctors already use their clinical judgement in terms of whether a treatment will have a benefit to the patient or not. We do not approve of any additional, arbitrary guidance based on age or disability.
- In all exchanges regarding COVID 19, please do not ask for special exemptions for different disabilities in terms of medical treatment at this time, as all lives are of equal value.