‘It is my aspiration that health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for’
United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan
From 2006 we have been working with the Department of Health and a number of NHS Trusts on a project to support the use of human rights based approaches in improving health and social care. This work is now being led by Mersey Care, one of the original partners in the project, and BIHR is closely involved as consultants to the work they are doing.
You can find out more about the public sector work at Mersey Care's new website:
The main activities and outputs of BIHR's earlier work in the public sector work are:
‘Human Rights in Healthcare - A Framework for Local Action' - Second Edition.
This is a practical guide to assist people working in NHS organisations to develop and use human rights to support their core business of planning and delivering high quality healthcare for all. It is relevant for a broad range of people who make up NHS organisations, but is primarily targeted at decision makers and those with responsibility for taking forward human rights and linked projects.
‘Human Rights in Healthcare - A short introduction'
This is a booklet providing a simple introduction to human rights in healthcare. It is primarily aimed at frontline staff, including clinicians and support and administrative staff. It is also a useful introduction for directors, board members, managers and policy staff.
Trust pilot projects
There are five NHS Trusts involved in the human rights in healthcare project:
Each Trust has previously produced one or more human rights products that are available to other NHS organisations such as training modules, questionnaires and assessments. These are available from the Department of Health's website.
Mersey Care NHS Trust's 'Standing up for my rights group'
Photo Courtesy of Mersey Care NHS Trust
A series of national learning events have been run throughout the project in order to raise awareness amongst a wider group of stakeholders of the relevance of human rights based approaches to health and social care, and to share learning from the project.
‘[a human rights based approach] goes above and beyond good practice in providing renewed quality of care for service users, and staff are empowered to challenge care decisions.' (Human rights in healthcare evaluation, Ipsos Mori 2008, p.34)
Ipsos Mori have carried out an Independent evaluation of the five NHS Trusts' pilot human rights projects. Their final evaluation report will be available shortly. Download the 2008 interim evaluation report.
For more information about the human rights in healthcare project please contact Ellie Keen on email@example.com.
BIHR provides training on human rights and healthcare. Find out more >>