Helping detainees in need of medical assistance

Chief Inspector casts aspersions on the Adults at Risk policy

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

The first annual audit report by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) into the operation of the Home Office’s Adults at Risk policy was recently published.
 
The Chief Inspector made a catalogue of criticisms.  We feel these were a polite way of saying the policy is a mess.

The audit echoes our own findings; that Adults at Risk is a shameful policy, riddled with systemic issues, which puts more adults at risk rather than less.
 
Free Movement published an excellent short article, asking “Does the Home Office even care?”.

You can read the Home Office’s response to the ICIBI audit here.
 
Read the Independent’s article “Home Office progress to protect vulnerable people in removal centres ‘too slow’, says immigration watchdog”. 

The Medical Justice press release can be found here.

 

The Coronavirus pandemic shows Adults at Risk failures now reach beyond detention into the community

 

The same systemic issues that we have been warning of for years are now putting detainees and the wider public at risk. The Home Office said that all immigration detainees will have their cases reviewed and underlying medical conditions increasing a person’s risk of severe illness following infection with COVID-19 will lead to them being treated as an Adult at Risk. But Medical Justice has clients continue to be detained despite having those underlying medical conditions, including asthma.
 
The Medical Justice and Immigration Law Practitioner’s Association joint submission to the ICIBI on 25/02/19 is here.  And the accompanying set of case-studies of how AAR failed vulnerable clients is here.  

Medical Justice has warned the Home Office of the failures for years and has successfully challenged the policy’s definition of torture in the High Court, twice (2019 and 2017).

 

What Medical Justice is doing about it

 

  • We are organizing a briefing meeting with members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Immigration Detention – David Bolt, the Chief Inspector, has agreed to be a speaker.  Other speakers are likely to include Experts by Experience who have been failed by the Adults at Risk policy when they were in detention themselves, Medical Justice, and lawyers involved in our two successful judicial reviews challenging the policy.
  • Adults at Risk failures are likely to be a feature in the Brook House IRC Public Inquiry taking place this year.
  • At Medical Justice we continue to monitor the application of Adults at Risk in our casework, gathering evidence for any further policy or legal challenge needed.