Rights Made Real – What has helped the projects link their practice to human rights?

Linking practice to health and social care standards

One project looked at the health and social care standards and thought how they link in in terms of anticipatory care planning. They agreed that no resident should be discriminated against in terms of the services available to them due to status as a care home resident or a diagnosis of dementia, by exploring the preference of final days being spent at family home and how the care home could help to facilitate this, upholding their right to private and family life (article 8 of the HRA 1998).

Dignity and Respect - 1.2: “My human rights are protected and promoted and I experience no discrimination.”

Workshops as a forum to explore basic human rights knowledge and dilemmas in practice

Respecting resident’s human rights at the end of life

The art of balancing the resident’s last wishes with that of their relatives and how to do this sensitively came up on several occasions.

As a support provider we should always respect a resident’s last wishes even when they look different to our own views and cultural beliefs. We should always support the person to achieve their wishes even if it is not what their family want. (Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion article 9 of the HRA 1998). An example the group discussed was of a resident that was very vivacious in life but wanted a private funeral. We explored how that made staff feel and they came to their own conclusion that they had to respect the resident’s wishes to privacy even though it was difficult to know they could not attend her funeral.

Feedback from workshops

Some of the managers gave us feedback on how their staff about the human rights in practice workshops.

 

‘It was an absolute pleasure having you come along to [care home] and deliver [human rights workshop] to my staff. It was great success - the staff are still regaling about it and how it sparked memories and made them reflect on their practice past and present’.

 

The manager commented that the workshops and input have changed the attitudes of staff from, “this is an awkward conversation that neither party would like to have, with a tick box form, to an attitude of .. wanting to personalise the process to help staff find out what is important to the resident, their relatives and learn how to help to include them to live a life they want to right up until the last days and hours”.