Rights-Based Approach to Care is Key to Improved Services

by Scott Douglas

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

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Care Commission ForumThe way care services are organised in Scotland needs to adapt, not the people using them, according to Jacquie Roberts, chief executive of the Care Commission.

In a speech to the Care Commission Forum, Dignity in Care, Ms Roberts will argue against a one-size-fits-all approach.   Care services must be better designed around the needs and rights of those in care rather than people having to adapt to the way care services are run.

Supported by the Scottish Human Rights Commission and the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland, the event highlights that everyone using care should be treated equally and fairly as an individual, have their rights respected and be allowed to live their life to their full potential.

The Dignity in Care event, held at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow on Thursday, May 28 brings together 350 people from a variety of backgrounds but all with an interest in care.  Interest in the event was overwhelming – more than 850 applications to attend were received – making it the Care Commission’s biggest Forum to date.

Ms Roberts was among a number of other speakers at the forum, hosted by journalist and broadcaster Fiona Armstrong, including Professor Frank Clark, convener of the Care Commission and Carole Wilkinson, chief executive of the Scottish Social Services Council. The event will feature a range of workshops and include the launch of Meet Sid – a campaign, with its own website, to highlight to young people the care standards they should expect.

Ms Roberts told delegates – who included care service users, service providers and people who work in care services – that the Care Commission is committed to a rights-based approach to regulation to improve standards.

Ms Roberts said: “Scotland’s National Care Standards set out, for different types of care service, exactly what people can and should expect. Unusually, they are written from the perspective of the person using the service and we know that other countries look to them as a great example of clear and helpful communication about care.

“We want to get more people in Scotland – people who use care services plus their families and unpaid carers – to use the Standards to improve their awareness and expectations. They should read the inspection reports for their service, too.”

The Forum will also hear about complaints against services. In the last inspection year 28% of care homes for older people had upheld or partially upheld complaints against them, compared with 5% of housing support services, 10% of home care services and 4% of children’s day care services. The average for all care services was 5%.

Ms Roberts added: “We are determined to adopt a rights-based approach to regulation, to promote improvement in care services and protect the rights of people using those services.

“People’s rights need to be respected regardless of social background; age or ability and the standards of care must reflect that.

“Care providers must recognise this and work with us to achieving a standard of care where the individual is at the heart of the service.”

Professor Alan Miller, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, said: “We warmly welcome this opportunity to begin to work with the Care Commission to promote dignity in care throughout Scotland. Looking forward, this is a very important focus of our work in helping to raise standards of care, especially for older persons, through assisting both those receiving care as well as those who provide it.

“The workshops we are leading will provide some insights into the experience of a rights-based approach on-the-ground which The State Hospital has been following for the past few years.”

The event will also feature a range of workshops – including theatre and interactive productions – aimed at highlighting equality and human rights best practice (see below).

ENDS

Note to Editors

Care Commission Forum: Dignity in Care – equality and rights in social care

Sample Workshops:

I’d rather go roller blading than play dominoes – Actors from Scottish theatre company Reptile 46 will perform sketches around some real – and exaggerated – equality case studies in different care settings. Audience members will be invited to highlight examples of inequality and the actors will instantly perform new sketches around the comments made.

Use basic graphics to improve communication – Lead by the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disabilities, this workshop will show how simple graphics and drawings can improve discussion and greater connections with people with disabilities.  The session will outline what equipment is needed and provide actual drawing lessons.  There will also be a chance for delegates to show off talents in a Pictionary competition.

Carry on Caring – A humorous theatre show by Live Wire Productions which highlights the importance of Scotland’s National Care Standards and their benefits.  The performance is set in a care home and brings to life the choices and discussions that people need to make when choosing a care service.  The production has already toured care homes across Scotland.

For further information please contact the media and public relations team, provided by Holyrood Partnership, PR in Edinburgh

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