Mersey Care NHS Trust

A human rights based approach to risk assessment and risk management with people with learning disabilities


Human Rights in Healthcare imagePeople with learning disabilities are one of the groups most at risk of having their human rights abused so staff and service users with learning disabilities at Mersey Care have been working together to make human rights part of everyday healthcare. Since being involved in the Human Rights in Healthcare Project, the Learning Disability Service has developed a human rights based approach to risk assessment and risk management which is supported by some practical tools which you can find in the A-Z. These include:

  • 'Keeping Me Safe and Well' – a human rights risk screen developed with service users so that risk assessment is “done with” rather than “done to” people in contact with the service. The tool aims to ensure that any identified risks are discussed with service users and care plans which restrict individual’s rights are lawful, legitimate and proportionate and reviewed regularly to ensure restrictions are implemented for the least amount of time possible. Read 'Keeping me safe and well'

  • A more detailed assessment process called HRJRAMP (Human Rights Risk Assessment and Management Plan). This is being used with the Primary Care Trust to look explicitly at human rights within the context of planning care pathways for a small number of individuals with complex needs where decisions can impact on every aspect of a person’s life. Read the 'Joint Assessment Management Plan'

  • A human rights 'Benchmarking Tool' which is being used with independent sector providers to ensure people with learning disabilities in supported housing are able to access their human rights. Read the 'Benchmarking Tool'

The Trust has also supported a group of people with learning disabilities to develop their confidence, knowledge and skills about human rights. The group are using human rights to enhance their own lives and are sharing the benefits of using a human rights based approach beyond the Trust by producing the first booklet about human rights by people with learning disabilities for people with learning disabilities. Read the FREDA booklet 

Next steps: Co production of a further range of practical human rights based tools with people with learning disabilities and extending the human rights based approach to other client groups including people with brain injury and mental health rehabilitation needs.  

For more information contact Beth Greenhill, Psychologist. 


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