Protecting human rights in childbirth

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Read our letter in The Telegraph calling for human rights in healthcare

The Telegraph today published a joint letter from the British Institute for Human Rights, Birthrights and others calling for a human rights approach to healthcare after the Mid-Staffs report. Below is the letter as it appeared in today’s Telegraph Letter Page (26 March 2013). It can also be accessed online here. You can read our original post on Mid-Staffs here.

Right to dignified care

SIR – As groups working for thousands of people across Britain who rely on health and social care services, we welcome the Government’s engagement with the Francis Report. What happened in Staffordshire Hospital shows how target-driven cultures, indifference and neglect can deny our most basic human rights.

Sadly, such inhuman and degrading treatment is becoming part of an all too long line of breakdowns in the care system.

In our experience, health services are at their best when they are delivered in a way that respects our human rights, providing a safety net for all.
A human rights approach supports the culture change needed to prioritise people over targets, empowers staff to deliver dignified services and prevent harm, and ultimately ensures patients have legal rights to seek accountability and justice.

The care system is at a watershed moment. As practitioners, advocates and users of services we urge the Government to put human rights at the heart of compassionate health care.

Stephen Bowen
Director, British Institute of Human Rights

Carol Boys
CEO, Down’s Syndrome Association

David Buxton
Chief Executive, British Deaf Association

Paul Farmer
Chief Executive, Mind

Elaine Boyden
Chief Executive Officer, Advocacy Matters

Caroline Abrahams
Director of External Affairs, Age UK

Geof Armstrong
Director, Arcadea

Neil Campbell
Chief Executive, Alternative Futures Group Limited

Ann Chivers
Chief Executive, British Institute of Learning Disabilities

Sarah Danily
Director, Mind in Brighton and Hove

Leigh Daynes
Executive Director, Doctors of the World UK

Gary FitzGerald
Chief Executive, Action on Elder Abuse

Deborah Jack
Chief Executive, NAT (National AIDS Trust)

Joyce Kallevik
Director, Wish

Priscilla Nkwenti
Chief Executive, BHA For Equality

Elizabeth Prochaska
Founder, Birthrights

Ewan Roberts
Centre Manager, Asylum Link Merseyside

Sarah Yiannoullou
Managing Director, NSUN network for mental health

Debbie Walker
Chief Executive, Age UK East London

Elizabeth Williams
Chief Executive, East Lancashire Advocacy Service