QualityRights Tool Kit Overview
The project uses the WHO’s innovative QualityRights framework and Tool Kit to promote human rights and establish new standards of care across 5 interrelated areas which have a positive impact on the quality of services and promote respect for human rights.
The core elements of the intervention include:
- Improvements in the quality of services and living conditions in facilities using existing available resources from facilities and government
- Training for health workers, service users and families on human rights in order to promote changes in attitudes and practice towards a recovery approach which enhances autonomy and engages service users in recovery plans
- Building peer and family groups delivered by non-specialists
- Introducing facility-level policy and mechanisms to govern practices to protect against inhuman, degrading treatment, violence and abuse (including the use of restraints)
The Tool Kit establishes standards of care which can be applied in a culturally and socially appropriate manner across five interrelated areas; each addressing an important human rights and quality issue:
- Promoting inclusion and independent living in the community. This means establishing links to community services and building support networks, for example, through family and service user peer support workers and groups. This is important to prevent relapse and promote social inclusion, recovery, and integration into community.
- Protecting against inhuman and degrading treatment, violence and abuse. This includes introducing measures, for example, to document, report and prevent violence, abuse, punishment and neglect, finding alternatives to seclusion and restraints and over-medication.
- Promoting legal capacity and enhancing autonomy. This means ensuring that service users remain central to all decisions that affect them, for example, by enabling service users to participate in the development of their treatment plans and to make informed decisions concerning their care.
- Promoting the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. This means reorienting the practices of health workers towards providing a holistic, recovery oriented care and rehabilitation rather than focusing solely on medication to reduce symptoms.
- Promoting an adequate standard of living, for example, ensuring that the environment is caring, supportive, comfortable and stimulating.
These interventions will be implemented at six mental health facilities across the State of Gujarat, India, including outpatient and inpatient units at mental health hospitals and psychiatric departments within academic medical centers and district general hospitals.
Project implementation outline
The broad outline of project implementation is as follows:
(i) Established Advisory Group and Management Team
As a first step, an Advisory Group was set up, bringing together representatives from the State Department and Federal Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, human rights advocates and senior mental health professionals. A project Management Team was also set up including the project team and the heads of mental health facilities where this project is being carried out.
(ii) Established implementation plan
The implementation plan covered the detailed planning and scheduling required for the development and implementation of the project, ranging from the training of ‘assessment’ committees, the logistics of carrying out the baseline assessments of facilities, the setting up of peer support and family interventions, and the development of facility-based strategic plans and their implementation.
(iii) Completed baseline assessment
Baseline assessment for individual outcomes: Service users, family members, and health care workers were assessed on measures related to disability and functioning, knowledge, attitudes and practices in relation to their condition and human rights, as well as satisfaction with services.
Baseline assessment of mental health facilities: All services in the intervention and control group underwent assessment using the WHO QualityRights Tool Kit to measure the degree to which mental health facilities meet the standards and criteria in the 5 domains of the WHO Tool Kit.
The assessment was conducted by trained visiting committees made up of health professionals, persons with mental disorders, family and non-family care givers, human rights advocates and representatives of NGOs working in the field of mental health.
(iv) Implementation of interventions
The QR Intervention: Based on the results of the assessment, workshops have been conducted to feed back and discuss findings with health-care workers of the facility, service users, and families. Facility based strategic plans have been developed to address gaps in the five interrelated areas of QualityRights for the intervention group facilities, using a participatory approach through discussions and workshops. Capacity building will also be carried out through training sessions on human rights in mental health, recovery oriented mental health care, communication skills, and alternatives to seclusion and restraint in psychiatric care. Peer support groups for service users and caregivers are being set up and leaders for each type of group are being identified and trained. Peer support workers are also being recruited and trained.
At each intervention site, two QualityRights Champions have been identified (from within the health care staff) who will receive special training at CAMH to observe and learn how quality and rights interventions can be integrated into service delivery and sustained over time. Health workers will serve as change agents and service users and families will help maintain quality control.
(v) Follow-up assessment
The follow-up service assessment of the intervention and control facilities using the WHO QualityRights Tool Kit will be done on completion of the intervention. Service users, family members and health workers will undergo a follow-up assessment on the measures of disability, knowledge attitudes and practices, and service satisfaction outlined above, 6 months post intervention.
(vi) Dissemination and further scaling up
The overall communication objective is to highlight the importance and impact of scaling up quality and human rights in mental health services. Dissemination of information will be interactive, engaging with the target populations, and involving influential figures, national mental health champions, policy makers, politicians and civil society.
At the start of the project, a state-level meeting was held to officially launch the project, bringing together high-level representatives from local government along with other project stakeholders, in order to raise awareness on the project and promote national ownership. The media was invited to attend and a press conference was held.
At the end of the project a conference will be organized, bringing together stakeholders involved in the project as well as health workers and managers, service users and families from ‘non-project/intervention’ services in Gujarat and other States in India, with an interest in implementing the integrated service model in their facilities. International mental health advocates and representatives from other countries will also be invited to participate in the conference