A woman was discharged from a mental health hospital in London before she felt she was ready for this. She had suicidal tendencies and was anxious about a delay in scheduling her follow-up care review meeting which did not take place within seven days of her discharge as required by the Care Programme Approach guidelines.
In addition to Standard 7 of the National Service Framework for Mental Health on preventing suicide, her advocate invoked her right to life (Article 2) protected under the Human Rights Act. The advocate argued that the woman’s care and treatment team were under a positive obligation to protect her life by ensuring she had the support she needed.
The care and treatment team had initially agreed to supply the woman with a support worker once a fortnight. However, as a result of the advocates arguments the team agreed to increase this to once a week.
The advocate is convinced that the human rights argument made the difference in this case. She said ‘human rights are so powerful – staff do take their jobs seriously and are trying to do what’s right’.
Cambridge House provides advocacy services to people in 14 London boroughs. Our aim is to enable people to become and remain central to the decisions that are made about their life. We encourage and enable people to speak on behalf of themselves, ensuring that their needs are considered, their rights are respected and they receive what they are entitled to.