Carers Rights Day and a reminder to Make it Real

The Making it Real I statement, “I know what my rights are and can get information and advice on all the options for my health, care and housing” applies to carers and also to the people we care for. It is matched by the We statement, “We make sure people know their legal rights and responsibilities”.

If you take a close look at Making it Real you will see that there are a further four statements that are specifically about people’s rights and the law.* For me, this underlines the importance of rights in delivering good, personalised services.

Carers’ rights have been decided by society, through our democratic processes, and are enshrined in the Care Act 2014. Our rights come through our citizenship. Services must not be seen as a ‘nice to have’ or a bit of support from people who want to help us because our lives are tough. We are legally entitled to services that make a difference, to us and the people we love and care for, in ways that make sense to us as individuals and our families.

I think it’s a fair bet that most organisations interested in using Making it Real will think they already deliver on these statements. But do they? What is the difference between telling people what services you offer and what their legal rights are? I think it’s a conversation worth having, particularly if you’re an organisation that wants to embrace Making it Real.

Co-production is at the heart of Making it Real and essential to services being personalised. If carers are to genuinely co-produce services with commissioners and others in the health and social care workforce, they have to know what their rights are before they can work in equal partnership.

So, if you work with carers, why not read these statements about rights and see if any of them could help you deliver better services? Remember to talk to your carers to discover what they think so you can work together on any actions.

Six Making it Real statements about people’s rights:

  • I know what my rights are and can get information and advice on all the options for my health, care and housing.
  • We make sure people know their legal rights and responsibilities.
  • We provide information and advice that reflects relevant law and/or clinical guidance.
  • We tell people about their rights to see their health and social care records and to ask for any mistakes to be put right.
  • We make sure that our organisational policies and procedures reflect the duties and spirit of the law and do not inadvertently restrict people’s choice and control.
  • We tell people about their rights to advocacy and representation and make sure these services are available.

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