What Council leaders need to know
As a Councillor or elected member of a local authority, you are responsible for upholding and promoting rights protected by the Human Rights Act (1998).
This relates directly to your responsibility for overseeing (via scrutiny committees and other means) the commissioning and provision of care services to adults, including older people who receive support in their own home. The human rights of older people who receive care at home are often at risk as was shown in the Equality and Human Rights Commission report Close to home in 2011. Some of the threats to human rights revealed in Close to home were:
- people not being fed or being left without access to food or water
- people being left in soiled clothes and sheets
- people being ignored by care workers, who talked over them whilst delivering personal care, and
- people being confined to their home or bedroom and unable to participate in their community.
As a local authority elected member you can make a positive difference to the protection of older people's human rights by:
- using your leadership position to communicate core values of dignity, respect, choice, fairness and equality which reflect human rights obligations
- asking questions in your decision-making or scrutiny role when services are being commissioned to examine quality, outcomes, sustainability, safeguarding and personalisation, and
- ensuring service contractual obligations include the requirement for service providers to ‘act as though they were a public body under the Human Rights Act’.
What are the training resources and how are they to be used
Training resource 1 - Trainers notes and session plan
The trainers notes and session plan is a step by step guide for trainers delivering the main human rights and home care training presentation (training resource 2) to elected members in England.
Training resource 2 - Main human rights and home care training presentation
This is the presentation that complements training resource 1: the trainers notes and session plan. Its target audience is local authority elected members in England, particularly those who are responsible for the commissioning and scrutiny of home care services.
Additional information and resources to supplement this training presentation can be found in training resource 3 - the Toolkit.
Training resource 3 - Toolkit
The toolkit is a rich resource of information and materials serving a dual purpose. Firstly, it supplements training resource 2, the main human rights and home care presentation and secondly, it can be used by trainers and elected members as a standalone, dip in and out, reference tool. Trainers delivering the main human rights and home care presentation (training resource 2) should first familiarise themselves with the toolkit and ensure a copy is available for each person attending the presentation.
Training resource 4 - 'Overview' slides
16 slides designed for elected members and others to read through on their own to get a five minute overview of essential points about home care and human rights.
Elected members interested in getting a more in depth understanding can also use the toolkit (training resource 3) and ask officers to organise a training session using the human rights and home care main presentation (training resource 2).
Last updated: 10 Jun 2021