UDHR Article 3 and the NHS

Article 3.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person


An immutable right and perhaps not one extended to mental health patients in England. NHS continues to fail in it’s “parity of esteem” principle, the NHS words for treat people with mental health to the same relevant clinical standard as with physical health issue.

UDHR Article 2 and the NHS

Article 2.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

The NHS was clearly formed with this in mind the three pillars aim to support Article 2

UDHR Article 1 and the NHS

Article 1.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood

To meet the article the NHS should not harass, bully or belittle patienta and staff. Recent employee attitude surveys suggest this is not the case.

Its a long read but is all there. One of the most startling data points in the report is that staff are abused more by managers and colleagues than patients!

We all hope that the NHS can thrive. But it does need to be kinder to itself, for people to want to work in it. It could start by helping those that can’t treat colleagues with respect find a new career outside the NHS.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the NHS

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. The Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations.

A few months before the Declaration the NHS was launched
(5 July) by the then minister of health, Aneurin Bevan, it had three core principles: that it meet the needs of everyone; that it be free at the point of delivery and
that it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay.

Simple and to the point the NHS was created to address the vast post-war health inequalities in the UK. At the time that the UDHR would have been on the minds of those that created the NHS. So it seems reasonable to hold the NHS up to these standards.

More on Article 3 of UDHR

You don’t have to look further than Winterbourne View and Whorlton Hall to understand how bad things get when the NHS fails to uphold Article 3. It’s not much to ask that a Government-funded hospital, regularly inspected by professional health and care professionals. But let’s look at how many breaches there are here:

Articles 1,3,4,5,6, 7 and 8.

Well, that’s enough for a start. But of more concern is CQCs breach of Article 8 Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law. It is unacceptable the CQC can say it’s hard to inspect such cruel and heartless regimes. CQC deputy chief inspector Dr Paul Lelliott said it was “now clear we missed what was going on”. “This illustrates how difficult it is to get under the skin of this type of ‘closed culture’,” he added. It’s worth noting the same company ran Winterbourne View and Whorlton Hall.

CQC has not been fit for purpose for some time and change is needed at both NHS England and CQC to replace the complacent and lazy leadership.

NHS England can’t live up to its own Constitution

Over the last couple of weeks I have conducted a short experiment on Twitter and LinkedIn. I posted each of the Principles from the NHS Constitution and then the Values of the NHS. There was a bit of a response, mainly from people who no longer work in the Service. Overall pretty disappointing.

The NHS Constitution can be found here
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-nhs-constitution-for-england It aims to provide a framework for health and care in England. It’s a good model for any healthcare system. The great sadness is that the NHS in England would rather bury it than see it repeated anywhere. It will not be on the lips of the NHS England CEO or form the basis of any response to recent NHS patient scandals like Gosport. And you should worry about why that might be the case. Despite the NHS Commissioning Board, a forerunner of NHS England creating the constitution in 2013, it’s clear it sets too high a standard for NHS England.

Perhaps there is a lower standard with should hold the NHS. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be a low enough bar for NHS England… let’s see.

Don’t recycle! Do this instead.

You recycle stuff, you gave up on the single use bags, you have your coffee in a mug that you take to your favorite hipster coffee shop.  And yet doing all of this stuff is not really helping.   And the reason is we are all thinking about this the wrong way round.

Try this instead:

  • So stop thinking about how you’re going to recycle all of the shit that manufacturers want you to take home.
  • When you shop think about the packaging you are being presented with, look for the product with the least packaging or the purest packaging (no mixed paper plastic composites)
  • Buy loose rather than in a bag.  And put them directly in your own bag, don’t use the flimsy clear plastic ones they hand out on a roll.
  • Don’t shop in places that only offer plastic bags, like M&S, even Primark manage to offer paper bags for goodness sake

Using these rules, there is a chance that you will reduce the flow of plastic through your home.  And those manufacturers that over-package will realise that they have to change.

If you want to be really radical about this recycling, take the packaging back to the store you bought it from. It worked in Germany in the 90’s when consumers did it on mass and the supermarkets had to change. Tell them I sent you!