Understanding and Applying Individual Rights of the Service User in a Disability Service
People with disabilities, both adults and children, have the right to be safe, to receive person-centred, high quality services and supports and to have access to the services they need in order to maximise independence and choice and enable them to lead a fulfilling life (HIQA, 2013).
In order to have an inclusive and good quality service for people in disability services the following individual rights should be implemented:
- Every service user is an individual, with equal rights, individual needs and preferences. Service users must be treated as, and communicated with, as equals. Their needs and preferences must be identified and applied consistently during the provision of care.
- Service users have a right to be involved in, and make informed decisions about, their lives, their finances and their personal health care. This requires constant communication with the service user and, where appropriate, their families in an appropriate format. The benefits and risks associated with the choices must be communicated.
- The service users quality of life must be prioritised during the provision of care, with life enhancing activities incorporated with the service users involvement.
- Service users must be protected from any form of abuse, including neglect. Staff must be vigilant to ensure that all care provided is person centred.
- Staff must respond positively to behaviours that challenge and may only apply restrictive procedures in accordance to best practice guidelines.
- Care must be provided in accordance to up to date Personal Care Plans that are reflective of the service users needs.
- During the provision of care, there must be constant communication with the service user. Consent and informed consent shall be received where required. Service users shall be presumed capable of making informed decisions in the absence of evidence to the contrary.
- Every service user must be afforded the same range, quality and standard of healthcare. The health care provided must be reflective of the service user’s current needs.
- Every service user, and their families were appropriate, must be made aware of the complaints process and supported to utilise it when required.
- All staff have a duty of care for every service user. Where staff identify that a service user requires attention, they must report their concerns to the Manager so that appropriate medical, therapy or nutritional attention and advice can be obtained.
- Staff must support service users in building personal relationships and social networks, including their involvement within the community where possible.
- Staff must adhere to the organisational policies and procedures and ensure their application during the provision of care.