People using health and social care services in Ireland should expect that their human rights will be promoted and protected when they require care and support from services. Human rights are about people being treated with fairness, respect, equality and dignity, having a say over their lives and participating as fully as possible in decisions about their care and support. A human rights-based approach to care and support seeks to ensure that the human rights of people using health and social care services are protected, promoted and supported in practice, and embedded in the culture of a service.
We have developed guidance for health and social care services in Ireland on implementing a human rights-based approach to care and support for adults. The guidance was developed in conjunction with Safeguarding Ireland, and part-funded by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission under the Human Rights and Equality Grant Scheme 2017. The guidance outlines a way of working for health and social care staff, to assist them to uphold human rights in their work.
High-level reference to a human rights-based approach to care and support is made in a number of the national standards developed by HIQA. This guidance on rights-based care will assist staff and services to put these elements of national standards into practice.