HSE National Office for Human Rights and Equality Policy Newsletter

HSE National Office for Human Rights and Equality Policy Newsletter (Issue 2, Winter 2020)

Read it here: National Office for Human Rights and Equality Newsletter

It has been a busy couple of months since our last newsletter. We completed our autumn / winter webinar series on Assisted Decision Making, Consent and tools for Practice. Over 3,000 people from across health and social care services, advocacy, other public services and from the legal profession attended the four webinars. The webinars were really well received and we are developing an FAQ resource to address the hundreds of questions which were submitted over the four sessions. We are currently putting the finishing touches to our spring / summer series in 2021—more information will be circulated on this early in 2021. If you missed any of the webinars in this series, you can watch them on

Work has commenced on the development of an e-learning programme on supporting decision-making, advance care planning and undertaking the functional assessment of capacity. Details will be circulated as it becomes available. We also sought your views on consent through a staff survey. Over 2,000 people took the time to complete this which will provide us with invaluable information to support the implementation of the revised National Consent Policy which will be launched with the National Consent E-Learning Programme in early 2021. Sincere thanks to all of you who completed the survey. The results will be released early next year.

We are delighted with the announcement that Professor Gerard Quinn, former Director of the Centre for Law and Disability Policy at NUI Galway has been appointed as UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of People with Disabilities. This comes at a critical time as the clock ticks slowly towards the commencement of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 (the 2015 Act). It is now 5 years since the 2015 Act was passed. In those intervening five years there are many people who fought and lobbied for the 2015 Act who have since passed away and did not benefit from the fruits of their labour. Professor Quinn was central to keeping the 2015 Act on the policy agenda over many years buoyed by the strength and vision of these people. In spite of delays in commencement, there is increasing evidence of the spirit of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the 2015 Act filtering into the daily practice of Health Care Workers across a diversity of services. Through our work we strive to ensure that we are constantly building the capacity of staff to work with the spirit of national and international human rights law. The message is simple- keep the person at the centre. Always. Nothing about me without me. We look forward to 2021 being the year where real commitment to full commencement of the 2015 Act will be realised. Thank you all for your continued support and for your commitment to the people who use your services.

I hope you all have a peaceful Christmas and wishing you all the best for 2021.

Caoimhe Gleeson,
Programme Manager