British nursing home: Access to prostitutes a ‘human right’

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 15:45 EDT
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An older woman is shocked. Photo: Shutterstock.com.
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The director of a nursing home in East Sussex, Great Britain argued recently that access to sex workers is a “human right,” saying her staff has helped residents of the Chaseley Trust home access adult services when they are feeling frustrated.

“People have needs, so sometimes we might need to set up a room in a certain way,” Chaseley manager Sue Wyatt told The Sun, calling access to sex workers a “human right.”

“We are there to help,” she reportedly said. “We use a private consultant who arranges everything. They are an independent person who works in the home. She puts people in touch with people. We respect our residents as individuals so that’s why we help this to happen.”

Local officials began investigating the home’s unusual policy after the former manager, Helena Barrow, said that she’d helped organize a strip show on the premises, according to The Daily Mail. Staff reportedly had a code — a red sock on the door knob — to let them know when residents needed privacy.

“We care for adults from the age of 18 with all types of disability, from spinal injury, Acquired Brain Injury and stroke, to Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and a wide range of other neurological conditions,” Chaseley’s website explains. “Covering a wide age range, Chaseley Home and Bungalows have a ‘family’ feel where everyone feels valued and their input welcomed.”

Officials on the East Sussex County Council said they were concerned the policy left potentially vulnerable residents at risk of exploitation.

Prostitution is not a crime in the U.K., but lawmakers have been under pressure to review those laws and implement a scheme that explicitly bans the selling of sex.

Photo: Shutterstock.com.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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