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Health Professionals as Rights Advisers: Rights Advice and Primary Healthcare Services

Pleasence, P; Balmer, NJ; Buck, A; (2007) Health Professionals as Rights Advisers: Rights Advice and Primary Healthcare Services. (LSRC Research Briefings Series , pp. pp. 1-18 ). Legal Services Commission: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Evidence of associations between social problems and morbidity supports a broad approach to service provision in general practice. Some social problems linked with morbidity involve people’s rights. They can be mitigated through the provision of advice about people’s rights. Without advice, people are often in a poor position to make informed decisions about how to best address such problems. Objectives: This study explores the current scale of involvement by doctors and other health professionals in the provision of advice about problems involving rights. METHODS: The study is based on an in-depth random national survey of 5,015 adults. The survey explored people’s experience of and the strategies employed to resolve problems involving rights. It documented the extent to which people sought advice from doctors and other health professionals about such problems. RESULTS: Health professionals provided advice in relation to 6 per cent of problems about which advice was obtained. The figure was 2 per cent even when problems centring upon, or reported to have led to, ill-health were discounted. Some respondents characterised the advice offered by health professionals as ‘legal’, and one respondent reported being advised to commence legal proceedings. CONCLUSIONS: Questions are raised about the skills, awareness and training of professionals who provide rights advice, about the role of rights advice in primary healthcare settings and about arrangements for the provision of advice to patients facing problems involving legal rights. It is suggested that the provision of outreach rights advice services in general practice settings, particularly in fields such as welfare law, represents a constructive measure that can be expected to promote both justice and health outcomes.

Type: Report
Title: Health Professionals as Rights Advisers: Rights Advice and Primary Healthcare Services
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20091016...
Language: English
Additional information: This is the published version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the terms of the Open Government Licence (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/).
Keywords: Civil Justice, Law and health, Legal advice
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1575509
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