HIQA is developing Draft Guidance on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Care and Support in Health and Social Care Settings in conjunction with Safeguarding Ireland. The project is part-funded by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission under the Human Rights and Equality Grant Scheme 2017.
There are several national standards developed by HIQA that promote a human rights-based approach, for example National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare (2012) and National Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland (2016). This guidance provides additional support to people working in adult health and social care settings in understanding a human rights-based approach and implementing national standards.
Human rights are basic rights and freedoms that everyone should be free to enjoy. They are protected by Irish and international law. While human rights are protected in Irish legislation, this has not lead to widespread knowledge or understanding of the application of these rights in health and social care settings, as noted by HIQA and the Mental Health Commission (MHC).
This draft guidance is an accessible resource that provides practical examples and case studies illustrating a human rights-based approach to support staff across a wide range of services. Although primarily written for staff working within health and social care settings, the guidance will also be useful for people using services, their families, carers, friends and advocates.