HIQA launches e-learning course to promote a human rights-based approach in health and social care services

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The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today launched an e-learning module to help staff working in health and social care services apply a human rights-based approach to care and support for people using services.

Promoting a human rights-based approach in health and social care services is a central theme in national standards developed by HIQA. This module is the first part of a wider course to help staff understand how they can apply a human rights-based approach to their work and put these elements of national standards into practice. It may also be of interest to people using health and social care services and their families, friends and advocates.

The course will comprise of four modules on:

  • Introduction to Human Rights in Health and Social Care
  • The Role of Good Communication in Upholding Human Rights
  • Putting People at the Centre of Decision-Making
  • Positive Risk-Taking

Rachel Flynn, HIQA’s Director of Health Information and Standards, said: “Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that all people should enjoy. It means people are treated with fairness, respect, equality and dignity, have a say over their lives, and participate as fully as possible in decisions about their care and support. People should expect that their human rights will be promoted and protected at all times, including when they require the care and support of health and social care services.”

The course aims to address knowledge and skills gaps that were identified through extensive stakeholder engagement during the development of HIQA’s Guidance on a Human Rights-based Approach in Health and Social Care Services. Additional workshops were held following the publication to identify the key messages for the modules.

HIQA is committed to developing tools that build capacity among people working in health and social care services and that support them to implement national standards, and launched two e-learning modules to support staff in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the value of online tools to allow learning on quality improvement to be delivered remotely at a time that is convenient for front-line staff.

Rachel Flynn continued: “The course aims to further support services to understand a human rights-based approach and put the national standards into practice in their day-to-day work. Staff have an opportunity to reflect and build on their good practice through engaging with practical scenarios describing real-life examples of good and poor practice.


“Having a human rights-based approach will allow service providers to improve the standard of care, support and safety of all people who use health and social care services in Ireland. Promoting and protecting people’s human rights will also encourage people to be involved in decisions about their own treatment and support.”

HIQA has also developed a video animation for people using services to raise awareness of what they should expect from a health or social care service that is committed to respecting, protecting and promoting their human rights.
Ms Flynn added: “We hope that these online learning modules will be used to strengthen and improve the experience of people accessing health and social care services across the country.”

Take the module or watch the animation here.

Ends.
Further information:

Marty Whelan, Head of Communications & Stakeholder Engagement
01 814 7480/085 805 5202, mwhelan@hiqa.ie


Notes to Editor:

  • Human rights and promoting a human rights-based approach in the provision of health and social care services is a central theme in national standards developed by HIQA. For example, emphasis is placed on protecting and promoting people’s rights and respecting their autonomy, privacy, dignity, and their values, preferences and diversity.
  • Guidance on a Human Rights-based Approach in Health and Social Care Services was published in 2019 in conjunction with Safeguarding Ireland and was part-funded by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission under the Human Rights and Equality Grant Scheme 2017.
  • HIQA is a member of Safeguarding Ireland, a multiagency and inter-sectoral body with an independent chairperson. It has the overarching remit of supporting the development of a societal and organisational culture that promotes the rights of people who may be at risk of harm, and safeguards them from abuse.
  • The course will be available through HSELanD, the Health Service Executive's online learning and development portal. HSELanD is accessible to all health and social care staff, as well as the public.
  • HIQA has two other e-learning modules available on HSELanD. In August 2020, it launched a module to support staff in community health and social care services to implement safe practice in infection prevention and control and antimicrobial stewardship. This has been completed by over 20,000 people, the majority of who are front-line staff. In November 2020, a module was launched with the Mental Health Commission to help staff in health and social care services to put the National Standards for Adult Safeguarding into practice; to date this has been completed by over 8,000 people.
  • HIQA has also published a number of additional resources to help staff to implement a rights-based approach. These include an Academic Slidedeck, an FAQ, Decision Flow Chart, Legal Framework and Fair Approach Model which are available at www.hiqa.ie.