Embedding human rights in care

The Commission is delighted with the success of Care about Rights to date and we want to continue the momentum to ensure human rights are sustainably embedded in care delivery and understood by older people and their families in Scotland into the future.

The delivery of older people’s services are undergoing transformation through the Reshaping agenda, the increased integration of health and social care services and focus on personalisation. The Commission sees human rights as central to both the underpinning values and implementation of these changes in particular in relation to workforce development initiatives and the regulation and improvement of services.

We believe that embedding a human rights based approach will help ensure person centred care where the individual service user is at the starting point of decision making, helping to balance competing interests and rights and creating a common understanding and language to assist in resolving tensions that may arise.

As a significant step to achieve this the Commission would like human rights fully incorporated into the new health and social care National Occupational Standards, due for review this year. This would then ensure that in the future the Scottish Vocational Qualifications in Health and Social Care include a basic human rights understanding. We hope to continue work with the Scottish Social Services Council towards this recognition of the role a human rights based culture can make.

We also look forward to working with the new scrutiny body – Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (SCSWIS) - to ensure that human rights are clearly articulated and understood in the system of regulation, inspection and service improvement.

Finally, we are pleased that the Guidance on Social Care Procurement published by the Scottish Government and COSLA (read the Guidance at the website for the Joint Improvement Team) references how human rights can be included as an important element of the commissioning and procurement of cares services. The Guidance has opened the door to human rights being incorporated into the service specifications, the selection and award criteria and contractual clauses relating to services. In this way it is a progressive piece of guidance highlighting both the relevance and the way in which human rights can be integrated and become part of the fabric of the commissioning, procurement and delivery of social care services.

We believe the Care about Rights training website is a valuable resource for older people and their families and carers, care providers and other involved in the policy and practices issues around care. We hope that by having a tailored, context specific online resource a broad range of individuals and organisations, such as advocates, social work, education and training organisations, and policy makers will be able to draw on the materials and use them to develop their thinking and work in the design, development and delivery of services.

The Commission will continue to explore new ways of ensuring the key messages of a human rights based approach become central to every day policy and practice for care and support services.

Support for Care about Rights

The Commission is very grateful for the support of partners in developing and delivering the Care about Rights project, in particular the Private Care Sector Workforce Initiative team at Scottish Care.

Workforce Initiative - Scottish Care
Age Scotland
Care Commission