13 August 2021

BIHR’s round-up of the week's top human rights news, from BIHR and beyond...

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News from BIHR

Our work with people accessing services

Last week we delivered the last of our ten free human rights workshops for people accessing (or trying to access) public services, their carers and loved ones.

On Monday we joined Silverline Memories, a charity in the North East of England which supports families living with dementia, and on Thursday we talked about how LGBTQ+ rights are protected by the Human Rights Act with HERe NI as part of their Belfast Pride programme. This has been a fantastic series of workshops with varied and vibrant groups!

Stay tuned for a report about the impact this work has had on people who came along.

Our work with community and advocacy groups

This week we held the second workshop in our new co-develop a human rights “solution” pilot project. Following the first, Discover workshop on 1 July, we received many applications from a host of community and voluntary groups across the UK to work with us on this project. All of them were fantastic!

We have narrowed these applications down to 4 partner organisations (which we will announce in the coming weeks). Over the next few months we will work with these 4 organisations to map, co-develop and test a human rights “solution”. 

Although we couldn't work with all of this that applied we are hoping to do more of this work in the future and are already thinking about ways that we can work together with more partners in the future. There’s more information about this project on our website. Please email Eilidh Turnbull on [email protected] with any questions.

Our work with public services

This week we have been recruiting for Lived Experience Expert Consultants for our new CAMHS human rights programme funded by NHS England. This project focuses on building staff knowledge and capacity to positively and proactively uphold human rights when supporting children and young people with mental health issues. This is alongside support for young people, their families, carers, supporters and advocates to raise their concerns with services not simply as a matter of what is right, but what is legal, to self-advocate and find practical solutions.

We know from our work with staff, young people, families, supporters and advocates that meaningful change can be achieved, shifting power, by putting human rights at the heart of these everyday discussions and decisions in mental health services. 

Find out more here.

Policy Work

As part of our new project, we want to hear about your experiences of government consultation processes.

You might have previously responded to a consultation, call for evidence or a government survey that shapes policy. If so, we would like to hear about how you found the process. We would also like to hear from people and organisations that have wanted to respond but haven’t felt able to. We need to hear about what stopped you from engaging, and what could be done to encourage people with lived experience to help shape policy that affects them.

If you would like to share your experience with government consultation processes. Please come along to one of our workshops this September. After an initial survey, our workshops will provide a platform for you to engage with other stakeholders to discuss key frustrations around consultations, as well as sharing successes. Stories and data that we capture in our workshops will shape our research, matrix and final report.

We will be hosting the following workshops during September: 

  • Workshop for people (that access services): Wednesday 8th September 2.30pm  4pm
  • Workshop for Communities groups, grass roots campaigns, advocates: Wednesday 15th September – 2.30pm – 4pm
  • Workshop for organisations that regularly work in policy: Thursday 16th September – 3pm – 4.30pm 
  • Workshop for staff (that work within public services/bodies incl. health and careWednesday 29th September – 3pm – 4.30pm

Please visit our project hub to learn more about this project and to register your place on of our workshops. 

News from Elsewhere

Mental health hospital was closed after CCTV exposed staff being abusive towards patients

A mental health hospital was shut down after an inspection uncovered abusive behaviour by staff - including multiple incidents caught on CCTV, a report has revealed. Camera footage showed two occasions where doors were slammed or forced shut on a patient at Eldertree Lodge in Staffordshire.

It also captured several examples of staff pulling or dragging a patient when trying to move them to the ward seclusion room. The Care Quality Commission, which published the report, said it had examined CCTV of six incidents at the 41-bed hospital that were specific to one ward between 27 February and 13 April.

Sky News

We all have human rights which should be upheld; the law should be used to secure accountability and stop abuse. We explain more in this blog, which although not recent is still (sadly) just as relevant: BIHR Blog: From vulnerable people to vulnerable situations that breach human rights

Covid guidance on Mental Capacity Act and DoLS withdrawn

The government has withdrawn guidance on practice in relation to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) during the pandemic.

It said this meant social workers and other professionals should follow usual decision-making processes in relation to practice under the MCA-DoLS that relates to Covid-19.

Community Care

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