Human Rights & Healthcare Shaping the Future Together

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The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission joined up with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust and Newcastle University at an event in Ballymena Health and Care Centre on Saturday 17 June. Members of the public gave their views on how local community services can be delivered.

Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Les Allamby stated:

This is an innovative and important piece of work. One of the Commission’s recommendations in our inquiry into emergency healthcare in Northern Ireland was the need for a more participative, human rights based approach to the development of future services. The Northern Trust has responded very positively to this recommendation. Engaging and consulting with the people who use the services, listening to their views is one key strand of embedding a human rights based approach into healthcare.

We commend the Trust for engaging in this way. A human rights based approach empowers people to know and claim their rights. It increases the accountability of those who plan and provide services and who are responsible for human rights. It also emphasises that the right of staff to be treated with respect and dignity should also be upheld. This means giving people greater opportunities to participate in shaping the decisions and services that impact on their rights. The Commission looks forward to working in partnership with the Trust in the future.”

At the Ballymena event service users and carers were asked to consider the challenges of providing community services locally and give their views on how best to

· Provide personal care at home (domiciliary care)

· Support family carers

· Reduce social isolation

· Support people with chronic conditions

Chief Executive of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Dr Tony Stevens, commented:

“We are delighted service users and carers have given up their valuable time to come to talk to us about the services they value. We are committed to effective engagement and today we are testing a ground breaking method of engagement.


(Pictured: Dr Ian O’Flynn, Newcastle University; Alison Irwin, NHSCT; and David Russell, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.)


19 Jun 2017