November 21, 2016 : Ruth Boyle
It’s time to secure the #rightapproach to careCare Inspectorate consultation is an opportunity to promote human rights in social care
Feedback from the Scottish Government’s 2014 consultation on reviewing National Care Standards in Scotland found support for a human-rights based approach to care. This means a greater focus on wellbeing.
At SCVO, we think that’s great news!
What does this mean in practice? Well, people who use care should be at the heart of how services are planned and delivered. Care standards will be centred on underlying principles of dignity, respect and wellbeing. As a result, care inspections won’t merely focus on achieving basic outcomes, but what it’s actually like to receive care.
The Care Inspectorate has developed new Health and Social Care Standards based on conversations they’ve has so far. To date, the third sector has been really involved, helping to get the standards to where they are within this consultation.
They are now looking for feedback on how well these standards can help improve the quality of care people can expect across all NHS, independent health, social work and social care services.
It is important for us to keep up our engagement and make sure third sector organisations have their say.
At SCVO, we’ve been doing lots of work around human rights and policy making. As part of our Right Approach campaign, we’ve heard from organisations promoting human rights throughout their social care and health work.
- Andrew Strong detailed how the Health and Social Care Alliance work with human rights. Highlighting that the power of the Human Rights Act in empowering individuals to challenge councils to fulfil their rights.
- Owen Miller showed that Alzheimer Scotland’s ground their policy work in a rights based approach, making sure the views and experiences of people with dementia are heard in their work.
- Eleanor Ogilvie spoke about how See Me Scotland empowers communities to overcome mental health discrimination through Community Conversations and starting with the needs of the individual.
Although only a snapshot, these blogs and podcasts highlight the ability of our sector to engage with human rights. We believe these examples form a strong basis for the sector to have an active voice in this consultation.
Social care should enable individuals to live independent, fulfilling lives, rather than merely ‘looking after people’. While people have rights with regards to their care, social care should also be a pathway to achieving other rights – like the right to food, right to be free from inhuman treatment and right to privacy.
social care should also be a pathway to achieving other rights – like the right to food, right to be free from inhuman treatment and right to privacy
As Elaine Downie of the Poverty Truth Commission detailed in her blog, ‘nothing about us, without us, is for us’. This consultation is an opportunity to put this mantra at the heart of social care – for those receiving care and their families – to ensure we guarantee dignity and respect.
Obviously, changing the standards that govern social care won’t be enough to solve the puzzle of commissioning, rising demand and ongoing financial concerns. Nor will standards be enough to produce a sustainable model of social care. However, standards can help to promote a quality, best practice approach to care.
This consultation could be a positive step towards securing social care that delivers on the ambitions of personalised care, participation and empowerment. It’s also a great opportunity for our sector to work together to promote positive change for those we seek to support and represent.
Our sector knows that human rights aren’t abstract concepts. Rather, we understand that human rights can form the basis of affirming, meaningful discussions that lead to responsive, strong policies delivering for the needs of individuals.
Let’s make sure the third sector’s voice is heard and continue the journey towards the #rightapproach to care.
You can find out more about the consultation and respond via the New Care Standards website.
We are keen to make sure that the sector continues to take part in this process and we are planning an engagement event with the Care Inspectorate for January, so watch this space! If this is something that interests you, please get in touch.