New films show power of human rights to improve people’s health and care

Date: 23rd June 2015
Category: Health and health services
Author: The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland

The Scottish Human Rights Commission, the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) and NHS Health Scotland have joined forces to launch a series of short films highlighting the power of human rights to improve people's health and the care and support they access.

Produced as part of Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP), the five short films share people's experiences of using human rights to challenge and improve the quality of the health and care services they use. The films highlight how human rights have been used in dementia care, mental health detention, advocacy, youth work and services for disabled people.

Featuring interviews with people whose rights have been affected, as well as charities and voluntary organisations that work with them, the films are a practical resource to help organisations providing services to embed human rights in their work.

The films are part of a new website that brings together materials and information for anyone interested in human rights in health and social care.

Shelley Gray, Director of Policy and Communications for the ALLIANCE, welcomed the films, noting the importance of highlighting how human rights can be utilised to improve people's experiences of health and social care services and support:

"These films highlight how human rights based approaches offer us a chance to develop better health and social care support and services across Scotland. By listening to what really matters to people, and being truly participatory in our approach, we can make rights real in day to day life and improve the experiences of people accessing support and services and frontline staff."

Cath Denholm, Director of Equality, People and Performance at NHS Health Scotland, said:

"Everyone has the right to the highest attainable standard of health. This is a fundamental principle which should underline all our efforts to reduce health inequalities in Scotland. NHS Health Scotland actively supports SNAP and I hope that many people will find this new resource to be helpful."

Kavita Chetty, Head of Strategy for the Scottish Human Rights Commission, also commented:

"The Commission is delighted to help bring human rights to life through people's own experiences. These films tell exactly the kind of real life stories that we know can help raise awareness and understanding of human rights."

Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP) was launched on 10 December 2013. SNAP brings together a wide range of public bodies and civil society organisations, as well as national and local government, to work on improving human rights in people's everyday lives, building a better human rights culture and fulfilling Scotland's international human rights obligations.

Social media

The five films are being shared on social media using the hashtags #rightsforlife and #humanrightsstories. They feature stories from people using services provided by HUG (Action for Mental Health), Roshni, C-Change, Dementia Carer Voices and the Advocacy Project.