An independent evaluation of the Care about Rights training and awareness raising programme around the care and support of older people has shown the package has delivered strong results.
Around 1,000 care staff and managers have taken part in training for Care about Rights since September 2010, as well as around 80 older people and older people’s advocates across Scotland.
The Care about Rights package is designed to highlight the practical applications of human rights in the care sector for older people and to demystify human rights so that decision making and policy making are better informed - empowering people to understand their human rights, and increasing the ability and accountability of those who have the duties to respect, protect and fulfil human rights.
Independent research into the roll out and impact of Care about Rights is being carried out by the social and economic research organisation, ekosgen. This has shown substantial increases in knowledge and confidence by the training participants who took part in the evaluation. The results of the follow up survey distributed to training participants indicated that:
99% said they understood what human rights are and how they are applicable to their work, and two thirds reported that Care About Rights has had a significant positive impact in this area.
90% agreed or strongly agreed that they could communicate with colleagues about how human rights could improve the delivery of care.
94% said they understood the relationship between human rights and other legislation after taking part in Care about Rights
94% said they understood the relationship between human rights and the National Care Standards.
In all the above more than half of respondents feel that Care About Rights has contributed positively to their increased understanding.
97% of respondents to the follow up survey feel that a human rights based approach can help care providers develop positive relationships with service users and their families.
Some of the comments from participants collected during the evaluation show the high value care workers have placed on Care about Rights. One care manager reported that: “staff are working in an industry that is rife with people who all feel they are acting in the best interest of the resident – doctors, social workers, regulators and families. Care about Rights provides a framework for staff to speak up for older people … and has given staff the confidence and ability to get their point across”.
Another participant said: “I think it will be really powerful to use it [Care about Rights] when you come across those brick walls when something is an issue. I think you can use the training to say “I’m sorry that may be an issue but it is actually part of somebody’s rights.””
Kavita Chetty, legal officer at the Commission, said: “These independent findings show that Care about Rights has given care staff and older people in many different organisations much more confidence when it comes to integrating human rights into their day-to-day work and life. The aim of the project was always to bring human rights to life for people who may have been hesitant to ‘deal’ with human rights issues, and the training and information in the package has clearly been useful, informative and well received.
“We will be looking at the findings closely over the next few months, and would like to encourage everyone to continue using the online resource for the project and let us know about the impact of the training from their perspective.
“Lastly, the consistent support for Care about Rights has been crucial in taking the training into all parts of the care sector in Scotland, from privately run residential homes to voluntary home care services and local authorities. We would like to again thank the Private Care Sector Workforce Initiative team at Scottish Care, the Care Inspectorate (formally the Care Commission) and AgeScotland for making this project such a success.”
Pamela Reid from ekosgen added: “We have been impressed by the reach of Care About Rights into the workforce. The high quality and flexible materials which complement the core activities of care providers have been welcomed by the sector. Where Care About Rights has been positively embraced by senior managers, the evaluation demonstrates clear benefits in terms of the confidence and ability of care workers to perform their role. Should roll out and embedding of Care About Rights continue there is an expectation that it will contribute to increased quality of care more widely.
We look forward to the next phase of our research which will consider the extent to which Care about Rights has been embedded across the sector and the role of care providers in bringing about sustained change. The evaluation will conclude in April 2012.”