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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Dignity in Care


Dignity and Respect states it is to make sure that people using the service are treated with respect and dignity always while they are receiving care and treatment.


What do we mean when we say Dignity in Care? 

The CQC, Regulation 10: Dignity and Respect states it is to make sure that people using the service are treated with respect and dignity always while they are receiving care and treatment.

To meet this regulation, providers must make sure that they provide care and treatment in a way that ensures people's dignity and treats them with respect always. This includes making sure that people have privacy when they need and want it, treating them as equals and providing any support they might need to be autonomous, independent and involved in their local community.

Providers must have due regard to the protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010.

But when you break it down what exactly is meant by Dignity?  What is Respect? 

The dictionary clarifies Dignity as the state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect.  And Respect as due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others.

Respect as due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of othersSo, when we discuss Dignity in Care we mean that the Providers of Care and Care Givers provide and acknowledge respect for the feelings, wishes and rights of those they are caring for.  Dignity is a basic human right, not an optional extra care services must be compassionate, person centred, as well as efficient, and are willing to try to do something to achieve this.

Dignity covers all aspects of daily life, including respect, privacy, autonomy and self-worth. While dignity may be difficult to define, what is clear is that people know when they have not been treated with dignity and respect. Dignity is about interpersonal behaviours as well as systems and processes.

The following are some examples from people when they felt their dignity was not respected:

  • Feeling neglected or ignored whilst receiving care

  • Being made to feel worthless or a nuisance

  • Being treated more as an object than a person

  • Feeling their privacy was not being respected during intimate care, e.g., being forced to use a commode in hospital rather than being provided with a wheelchair and supported to use the bathroom

  • A disrespectful attitude from staff or being addressed in ways they find disrespectful, e.g., by first names

  • Being provided with bibs intended for babies rather than a napkin whilst being helped to eat

  • Having to eat with their fingers rather than being helped to eat with a knife and fork

  • Generally being rushed and not listened to.

The challenge therefore, is for Services to respect people’s dignity they should:
  • Have a zero tolerance of all forms of abuse
  • Support people with the same respect you would want yourself or for a member of your family
  • Treat each person as an individual by offering a personalised service
  • Enable people to maintain the maximum possible level of independence, choice and control
  • Listen and support people to express their needs and wants
  • Respect people's right to privacy
  • Ensure people feel able to complain without fear of retribution
  • Engage with family members and carers as care partners
  • Assist people to maintain confidence and positive self-esteem
  • Act to alleviate people's loneliness and isolation
The Edith Ellen Foundation endeavours to promote awareness of these 10 points to everyone connected with health and social care.


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