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BIHR’s Work on Human

BIHR’s Work on Human Rights in Healthcare Since Parliament passed the Human Rights Act in 1998, BIHR has been working with service providers and advocacy groups to help translate the law into practical tools for change. A key programme of work for BIHR over the last ten years has been Human Rights in Healthcare, where we have worked both with: those who have human rights duties (healthcare service providers, Government and regulators) advocacy services working with individuals whose human rights should be respected (patients, families and carers). BIHR’s work with the public sector BIHR has pioneered work on a human rights approach to healthcare, in partnership with the Department of Health (DH) and five NHS organisations. In 2008 we published the ‘Human Rights in Healthcare Framework’. The ethos behind the project was to take human rights out of NHS legal departments and apply them in the day to day running of NHS organisations, to help make improvements to services and to people’s lives. The Framework captures some of the learning from the five NHS Trusts involved and offers practical lessons for anyone working in health and social care about how human rights is relevant to their work, understanding the obligations NHS organisations have under the Human Rights Act, and how human rights can be used to deliver better services. For more information on the Framework, see page 26. Since developing the Framework, one of the Trusts has gone on to champion this work within the NHS, with the support of BIHR. Mersey Care NHS Trust have implemented a human rights approach in various parts of their mental health and learning disability services, and are now working with BIHR to look at how a human rights approach can improve care in an acute mental health inpatient unit. They have also supported four other NHS organisations to implement a human rights approach in different parts of their services. More information on all this work is included throughout the guide. BIHR’s work with VCS groups Voluntary and community sector organisations are increasingly playing an important role in health and social care – both as providers of services, and as advocates and campaigners on behalf of those in need of better care. Most are working on human rights issues, such as quality of care and treatment, but relatively few are using human rights to support their work. BIHR’s Human Rights in Healthcare Project (BIHR VCS Project) is funded through the Department of Health’s “Voluntary Sector Investment Programme: Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund”. Since 2010 this Project has been exploring ways of assisting voluntary sector organisations working in or on health and social care issues to use human rights to provide and advocate for better services. BIHR has worked closely with 20 organisations across England, with a sub-group focused on mental health. Together we have explored how human rights approaches can lead to changes in health and social care practice, including through: Organisation Journeys: transforming the internal culture of organisations and forming the basis of partnership working with services Individual Stories: securing good outcomes for service users, their families and carers The organisations involved in this practice-based project have used the rights in the HRA, and the duties it places on providers of healthcare services, in innovative and exciting ways to assist the individuals they work with. Much of this work is featured in this guide, providing important evidence of how to develop and nurture a culture of respect for human rights in healthcare. All the threes 3 open events on health and human rights (Liverpool, Birmingham and London) 368 bookings 3 open events on mental health and human rights (Manchester, Bristol, London) 329 bookings 3 roundtables on human rights in healthcare (Birmingham, Liverpool, London) 13 meetings of the partner organisations 3 joint resources 3 joint letters 3258 cups of tea made! 3 years the project ran 6

Sunderland City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust Lancashire n-compass North West Ltd Merseyside Alternative Futures Group Asylum Link Merseyside Wish Mersey Care NHS Trust Learning Disability Service Dementia Service Mental health services North Wales Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board West Midlands Birmingham Birmingham Solihull Women’s Aid POhWER Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust Sutton Coldfield Advocacy Matters Blackburn Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen NHS Blackburn with Darwen Teaching Care Trust Manchester BHA Surrey Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust London Age UK (national) Age UK East London Look Ahead Care and Support Manor Gardens NSUN network for mental health Project: London (Doctors of the World UK) Rethink Mental Illness Advice Service Southwark Health and Social Care Wish Brighton Mind in Brighton and Hove Friends, Families and Travellers VCS organisations Public sector 7

Putting HR at Heart of Health Social Care web
Putting HR at Heart of Health Social Care web
Guide to the Healthcare System in England
Mental health
BIHR Conference Report07.indd - British Institute of Human Rights
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