Best practices from the Human Rights in Healthcare Programme, UK

December 20, 2012

In the past two years, the Human Rights in Healthcare Programme has produced several interventions in the United Kingdom. The programme recently published a report highlighting the activities of four health organisations with regards to adopting a rights-based approach in their organisations.

The authors hope this report will encourage other organisations to look at ways in which they too can respect, protect and promote humans rights in health and social care. Another focus in this report is the importance of evaluating human rights in healthcare projects.

The Human Rights in Healthcare Programme has been led by Mersey Care NHS Trust with funding from the Department of Health. The goals are to develop a framework and practical examples to assist NHS bodies to apply a rights-based approach in their organisations. In the United Kingdom, NHS organisations are public authorities that have positive obligations (Human Rights Act 2000) to respect, protect and promote human rights.


The aims of the first phase of this programme (2011-2012) were to:

• Develop an online web resource – a one stop shop for information about a rights-based approach in healthcare (

• Grow a network of people interested in human rights in healthcare and arrange some learning events

• Develop some good-practice examples of how a rights-based approach can be applied in healthcare settings

• Develop an evaluation framework to be able to show that a rights-based approach is useful.


The first phase of the programme has now come to an end. Since the project leader, Lindsey Dyer, is leaving the NHS, there might be a pause before the next phase of the Human Rights in Healthcare Programme is announced. In the meantime Brenda Hardcastle has kindly agreed to keep the website up to date and answer any questions about the programme., tel.: 0113 254 5014

Access the report

Visit the website