Obligation to recognise ME/CFS patient housebound or carer status

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House bound status

Not accounting for the housebound or bed bound status of a patient when determining treatment or eligibility of a patient can add to or substantiate claims of liability, for resultant harm and financial loss, and/or for claims.

It is extremely common that practitioners / their practices fall foul of these obligations, generating unnecessary mutual consequences. Examples of common breaches of obligations can include refusal of home vaccination and disallowing patients access to cervical smear tests. Evidence is of primary care services allowing decades to pass without tests, due to disregard for housebound status (determined by discrimination and/or lack of education, which leads to a legally demonstrable knowledge gap.

Carer status

Not accounting for the de facto role of a carer when determining care, treatment or eligibility of a patient or their carer can add to or substantiate claims of liability (versus consequences from eligibility of carers in vaccinations schemes, for example). The structure of state support in the UK and other jurisdictions often means that carers are not officially identified in social security or social care terms. It must be noted that this insufficient poverty does not imply independence or a lack of carer in medically relevant terms.

Critically, any would not be versus the carer themselves (i.e. not associative or other such to the carer). Liability would be versus the patient, due to any consequences to the patient from ignoring the role of the patient’s carer on non-clinical and economic grounds (based on the medical irrelevance of benefits/social services’ economic thresholds).