Media statement: Scottish Care warns of human rights complacency in Scotland

Care body warns of human rights complacency in Scotland

The representative body for independent care services has called on the Scottish Government to make human rights meaningful for older people in Scotland, including those living with dementia.

Scottish Care has today warned that Scotland is becoming ‘complacent’ in protecting against everyday human rights abuses for vulnerable citizens through a lack of action.

The call for action will be made at an event in Glasgow today (29 Nov), which will bring together stakeholders from across health and social care to explore the realities of human rights for care delivery in Scotland.

At the event, Scottish Care CEO Dr Donald Macaskill will tell delegates:

“Human rights complacency happens when people delude themselves into thinking that the articulation of rights is equivalent to the realisation of those rights. Merely having excellent human rights based legislation does not give citizens the ability to realise and access those self-same human rights.

“In too many instances, such as Self-directed Support, we talk a good game in Scotland but the reality is less than what we would desire.

“The failure to invest, to monitor, to hold accountable and to hold to task those who have acted against the human rights enshrined within the Self-directed Support Act should shame us all. The peril of human rights complacency is that we issue an Audit report, utter some rebuke, gain some negative media headlines, but effectively fail to really challenge and change the systemic breach of those human rights.

“So today across Scotland we will still have instances where hundreds of older people will fail to be properly assessed, informed of what budget they have to spend, be given real choice for their care and support, and if they want to, be able to alter that package of care and do something new and different. For too many there is no choice. No transparent offering of information to enable folks to make decisions. Rather, there is a complacent attitude that the old don’t want the fuss or trouble of taking control of their lives.”

The event will also see the launch of a new fund, made available by Scottish Care and Life Changes Trust, aimed at making rights real for people with dementia living in care homes.

Speaking about the Rights Made Real fund, which care home services can apply for, Dr Macaskill said:

“I am delighted that Life Changes Trust has dedicated £300,000 to work alongside Scottish Care to further embed human rights in Scotland’s care homes. I look forward to seeing a whole range of creative projects which will help care homes to get even better at delivering a human-rights based approach to care.”

Anna Buchanan, Programme Director at Life Changes Trust, added:

“The funding on offer from the Life Changes Trust is for initiatives in care homes that demonstrate better ways of making rights real for people who live there. Care home residents still have a life to live and they have the right to thrive. Older people, including those living with dementia, have a right to maintain strong connections with family and friends, with their communities and with the things that matter to them. They do not give up these rights when they cross the threshold of a care home. We are looking to fund creative and innovative projects and ways of working that will benefit people living with dementia and show others how to make rights real in care homes.”

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