May 2021

Following the success of a 2018-2020 Health Foundation funded programme to embed human rights within their recovery model, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) commissioned the British institute of Human Rights (BIHR) to deliver a further programme of human rights capacity building in 2020-2021.

About this human rights capacity building programme

The 2020-2021 programme began as a bespoke human rights practitioner development programme for staff working at the newly established Foss Park Hospital. Foss Park Hospital opened in April 2020 and provides a range of services, including inpatient mental health wards for working-age adults and older people. Due to the success of this practitioner development programme, TEWV requested further human rights capacity building for inpatient mental health staff working in mental health services outside of Foss Park Hospital. This meant the reach of the programme broadened significantly, building the capacity of a much larger number of staff and creating change for a larger number of people and families interacting with TEWV services.

The aim of the programme was to ensure that human rights were the foundation of policy and practice within the hospital from before the hospital doors were opened. Embedding human rights in hospital planning, policy and practice in order create positive change for both staff and people accessing the hospital’s mental health services. BIHR’s activities focused on developing and delivering learning support for staff in a range of roles (at a range of levels) to increase their knowledge and confidence of human rights law, and how to implement this in their practice.

Our Impact

As part of this programme, we wrote a Human Rights Learning Programme Impact Report outlining the process of our programme and the ways in which our human rights support increased the knowledge and confidence of TEWV staff in using human rights in their work. Click the button below or follow this link to read our Impact Report:

Click here to read our Impact Report.

Outcomes and next steps

The aim of this project was to build the capacity of staff at Foss Park Hospital (and the wider TEWV staff group) to embed human rights in their practice, creating positive change for both staff and people accessing mental health services.

The quantitative and qualitative data included in this report clearly shows that the knowledge and confidence of staff in using human rights in practice has increased significantly across both staff groups within TEWV NHS Foundation Trust. During the evaluation process, staff also provided specific examples of when they put human rights into practice, creating positive change for the people they support.

It is also important to note the context in which this programme was delivered. The programme was developed and delivered from April 2020 to April 2021, In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, which had a particular impact on healthcare services. Increasing the knowledge and confidence of staff in a context of less resource, more demand and incredibly challenging decision-making is a significant achievement.

The next steps after a programme of this kind are at a minimum to ensure this knowledge and confidence of staff is maintained within the Trust.

We look forward to continuing out partnership with TEWV NHS Foundation Trust in 2021-2022 and beyond.

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