Six people with lived experience of homelessness and asylum seeking/being a refugee undertook participatory research on the right to health. In this blog we tell you why we did this project, what it was like to be involved and why it is important to take note of the outcomes from this project.
The partners who came together for this project are the Centre for Health Policy at Strathclyde University, the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE), Glasgow Homelessness Network and the Mental Health Foundation. This was funded by NHS Health Scotland for the SNAP action group on health and social care.
The right to health should mean that people get access to good quality care and support in meeting social determinants that influence our health. However we found that people experience discrimination because of their status, barriers to accessing health care, and a lack of information and knowledge about their rights. This leads to people feeling scared and losing trust in services.
Jaan, one of the peer researchers said, “I got involved because we wanted to understand what human rights means so that if we are faced with a situation we know what to do.”
Douglas, another peer researcher said, “I am glad to be part of this research as I would like to see a change in the way that those affected by homelessness are seen and treated by services and organisations, and also in society.”
Mhurai, another peer researcher said that she took part in the research to stand up for people’s rights.
Our main hope is that people will learn that they do have human rights when it comes to their health and what they are. We also hope that they might learn more about services that can help them and maybe build some confidence.
The new film ‘The right to health: a view from here’ presents the story of the research and testimony of the peer researchers. In just under 20 minutes, the filmmaker Kate Burton captures the passion of those involved in the research, gives a powerful summary of the findings and highlights the change we need to see.
We feel this research shows what it feels like to be denied the right to health and how taking a human rights based approach could transform the experience of services for people and improve outcomes.