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Date: 24 October 2020

Time: 21:46

Dignity champions project

Everyone has the right to be treated with respect, to have their values and beliefs maintained and receive care that maintains their privacy and dignity. To help ensure this happens at UHB, the dignity project was launched back in October 2008.

Sponsored by the Chief Nurse and led by the Lead Nurse for Older Adults, the programme supports ward and departmental dignity champions throughout the organisation. Champions all receive an information pack and are invited to seminars, training sessions and workshops that explore themes relating to dignified care.

UHB now has 550 ward and departmental dignity and older people's champions, plus an active Dignity in Care Action Group that links to the Trust’s Care Quality Group. The monthly themes cover a broad range of topics including frailty, falls, mental health, continence and 'Ability not Disability'.

We value how small changes make a big difference and encourage our champions to influence others in the delivery of dignified care throughout all areas of our organisation.

There is also a divisional dignity champions group which identifies and drives forward any changes. There are many opportunities for all staff to promote dignified care but we recognise there are also challenges. The divisional groups provide support, advice and guidance to all the champions, as well as sharing examples of good practice.

The dignity champion’s programme supports person-centred compassionate care for patients. We acknowledge the importance of particular support for our most vulnerable and complex patients but this must be rooted in compassion for ourselves and those we work with.

The role of the ward and departmental dignity and older people's champion involves the following:

  • Act as a good role model by treating other people with respect
  • Act as the patient’s advocate
  • Speak up about dignity to improve the way services are organised and delivered
  • Influence and inform colleagues
  • Attend training and cascade teaching sessions to their team
  • Listen to and understand the views and experiences of patients
  • Challenge disrespectful behaviour

The dignity and older people champions receive support from their matron and senior sister or charge nurse in order to be successful in the role. They receive a monthly newsletter, teaching presentations and information about new resources to cascade to their team.

Sign up to become a dignity champion

A dignity champion is someone who believes passionately that being treated with dignity is a basic human right, not an optional extra.

Each dignity champion’s role varies depending on their knowledge and influence and the type of work they are involved in. There are many small things you can do  which have a big impact on people’s lives, as well as taking on a more active role if you have the time to do so.

Dignity champions include health and social care managers and frontline staff. They also include doctors, dietitians, porters, care workers in care homes, MPs, councilors, members of local action groups and Local Involvement Networks (LINks), and people from voluntary and advocacy organisations.

People who use care services, their relatives and carers, as well as members of the public, are also becoming dignity champions.

You can become a dignity champion at the Dignity in Care website (see below).

For more information on becoming a dignity champion at QEHB, please contact the team:

Email: dignity@uhb.nhs.uk

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