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Today (1st February) marks Dignity Action Day 2018 (#DAD2018). Organised by Dignity in Care, Dignity Action Day is an annual opportunity for health and social care workers, and members of the public to uphold people’s rights to dignity and provide a fun, memorable day for people who use care services.

As Director of Stanfield Nursing Home, care home Worcester, I am writing this blog to help to raise awareness of their worthwhile work.

The core values of Dignity in Care’s campaign are:

“about having dignity in our hearts minds and actions, changing the culture of care services and placing a greater emphasis on improving the quality of care and the experience of citizens using services including NHS hospitals, community services, care homes and home support services”.

The annual action day is a chance to give everyone the opportunity to contribute to upholding people’s rights to dignity, as well as providing a truly memorable day for people receiving care. It raises awareness of the importance of treating vulnerable people with respect and aims to ensure people who use care services, in any guise, are treated as individuals, and are given choice, control and a sense of purpose in their daily lives.

I am proud to say this is something that myself and the team already uphold voraciously in our Worcester care home. Dignity is a basic human right.

Treating our resident’s with the utmost consideration and providing care that is respectful, tailored and holistic are just some of the ways we achieve meeting that right. Our Dignity Champions work every day on this area of consideration, so its very much business as usual for us.

Our own internal champions of expertise span a whole range of areas of care. Each contributes to keeping our nursing home a safe, kind and professional environment for our residents and staff.

At Stanfield Nursing Home, we have champions in: privacy and dignity, oral care, personal appearance, Fire Safety portable equipment, Fire Safety fixed equipment, topical medical application, moving and handling, risk assessing, staff training, MCA & DOLS, and correct use of incontinence products.

Across the country, Dignity Champions on Dignity Action Day will help to:

  • Raise important awareness of Dignity in Care
  • Provide someone with an extra special day
  • Demonstrate that all members in the community have a role to play in upholding Dignity in Care
  • Remind the public that care staff have a right to be treated with dignity and respect too
  • Provide a great community networking opportunity.

Ambassador for Dignity in Care, Dame Joan Bakewell, said this about why it is important to raise awareness:

“Dignity Action Day highlights a more respectful way of behaving towards vulnerable people. The very old and the very young clearly need our respect, but it wouldn’t do any harm to spread the dignity message across the population then we can all benefit.”

As someone who has worked in the nursing home care sector for most of my life and career (and privately owned & directed my Worcester based nursing home, Stanfield, for over 30 years), I definitely second that statement!

Dignity In Care’s 10 Dignity Do’s

Before the Dignity in Care campaign was launched, the group ran numerous focus groups across the UK to find out exactly what Dignity in Care meant and looked like to people. The results culminated in the creation of the 10 Dignity Do’s. These describe the values and actions that high quality services that respect people’s dignity should have in place in daily care practices. They are to:

  1. Have a zero tolerance of all forms of abuse
  2. Support people with the same respect you would want for yourself or a member of your family
  3. Treat each person as an individual by offering a personalised service
  4. Enable people to maintain the maximum possible level of independence, choice and control
  5. Listen and support people to express their needs and wants
  6. Respect people’s right to privacy
  7. Ensure people feel able to complain without fear of retribution
  8. Engage with family members and carers as care partners
  9. Assist people to maintain confidence and positive self-esteem
  10. Act to alleviate people’s loneliness and isolation

Dignity Action Day is an important event to raise awareness in this area. Even more pressing is that this vital message permeates into our wider society, and its values are upheld beyond the 1st February as passionately as they are on the day.

To follow the campaign’s events on social media, use the hashtag #DAD2018.

Richard White

If you are considering nursing home care for yourself or a loved one, please feel free to get in contact with us to discuss any queries. You can speak to a member of staff over the phone on 01905 420 459 or arrange to come and visit our home and gardens.

You may also like to read our previous blog on Specialist Dementia Care Worcestershire: How Social Changes Influenced Our Building.