"It might well be that the difference people make individually is a mere ripple on the surface of our care system, but each of those ripples added together create a wave, a social movement, and if this makes life better for some - then it has to be worthwhile."
Sir Michael Parkinson, Dignity Champion
Dignified and humane care is every patient’s right. Without it patients suffer in terms of their outcomes and their experience and memories of care. The Ombudsman reports, the Patients Association report and The Mid Staffordshire Francis report have demonstrated that the absence of humanity and kindness have disastrous consequences. Many hospitals have now taken action and are changing and improving care.
Dignity Action Day is taking place on 1 February 2012 to raise awareness of the importance of dignity in care. The day is a reminder to all health and social care staff as well as the public that upholding people’s right to dignity is everyone’s responsibility. Undignified care occurs most often when the needs of the patient are not put first. As soon as care becomes task driven rather than person-centred, there is a failure to deliver ‘do as you would be done by care’.
Please take the time on 1 February 2012 to reflect on how you could improve the way in which your patients are treated and take action with your team locally. Do you take enough time to listen to patients and their families? Do you take, record and share full life histories? Does your Trust or renal unit have a Dignity Code? Do you know who your local dignity champion is and have you invited them to the renal unit and wards? Do you challenge ageist practice? Does your Trust take Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), that is predominantly a condition that affects the elderly and at risk population seriously?
Learn more about the national Dignity in Care campaign and for resources and examples of best practice.