An important new project to embed human rights within decision making is being piloted in two TEWV services thanks to funding from the Health Foundation.
Working in partnership with the British Institute for Human Rights, we are exploring ways to empower people to know and claim their rights.
The fifteen month project will seek to understand the core issues faced by staff and service users in relation to managing risks and protecting people’s rights within children and young people’s services at West Lane Hospital, Middlesbrough and mental health services for older people in Hartlepool.
As part of the project staff will be trained in the application of human rights within mental health care. Teams will be supported to increase service user involvement in the decision making process, helping to ensure that the least restrictive practices are adopted. The project also aims to develop tools and resources to support staff and will inform options surrounding the longer term adoption of this approach throughout the organisation.
Kate Hughes, recovery programme manager said “All individuals have human rights. These are basic rights and freedoms addressing dignity, fairness, equality, respect and independence.
“Sometimes, when people are in receipt of mental health services, their rights may be restricted. Because such restrictions can leave people feeling disempowered, it is important that these are the least restrictive possible.
“Adopting a human rights based approach empowers service users to know and claim their rights and make shared decisions about their care. It also equips staff with the knowledge and skills to safely manage risk and the confidence to ensure that individuals are placed at the heart of decision making; minimising the risk of unintended harm to those in our care.”
Alison Brabban, recovery lead at TEWV said “Recovery and wellbeing are central to all we do. We are committed to supporting those in our care to realise their goals and develop relationships and skills that will help them to live fulfilling lives. Adopting a human rights based approach acknowledges people as individuals and helps to redress the balance between health care professionals and service users so that relationships are more equal, supportive and helpful.
“The funding we have received will help us to further embed recovery into the fabric of the organisation and will support the Trust’s commitment to harm minimisation”.
Carlyn Miller from the British Inistitute for Human Rights (BIHR) said “The commitment TEWV are making to this project is the exception, rather than the rule, with the Trust taking a proactive approach to service improvement grounded in human rights.”
You can read more from Carlyn Miller about this project on the BIHR website.
For more information about the project contact Jessica Lehane, psychology assistant on Tel. 0191 3336550 or email. Jessica.email@example.com.
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