Rotherham Council carers put dignity first

ROTHERHAM Council’s social care staff are backing a national campaign to put dignity and respect are at the heart of all care services across the UK.

They will be flying the flag for the annual Dignity Action Day on February which promotes the importance of upholding the right to dignity for people who use care services.

The council is also endorsing the Dignity in Care Campaign, which aims to raise awareness and understanding of the issue, encourage the sharing of good practice among professionals, and recognise those people who deliver excellent services.

Sam Newton, safeguarding manager for Neighbourhoods and Adults Services, is one of a number of Rotherham Borough Council Dignity Champions, who form part of a national network of over 40,000 individuals and organisations, who act as role models and, educate those working around them.

"Being treated with dignity is the basic right of every human being, not an optional extra," said Sam.

"This is a message that we need to get across to everyone in the community, because we all have the potential to spot where dignity and respect is being breached, and where vulnerable people are at risk as a result.

“By having the confidence to challenge this, we can all improve the quality of care and the experience of local people using services, be that in the NHS, in the community, in care homes and receiving support to live at home."

Cllr John Doyle, Rotherham's Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: "The whole concept of dignity can be difficult to define and many vulnerable people feel unable to express their feelings when they aren't being cared for as they should be, and are unable to stand up for themselves.

“That's why it is really important to engage with our local communities, to get the debate going and to help create a common understanding of what good care actually looks and feels like, and what is clearly unacceptable.

“Taking part in Dignity Action Day is just one of the ways in which we can do this."

The National Dignity Council has outlined a number of areas where the concept of dignity can be measured, including:

  •  People being given choices about the way they live and the care they receive
  •  Speaking to people with respect and listening to what they have to say
  •  Providing appetising menu choices that meet the needs of individuals, with help to eat where needed
  • Ensuring that people living with pain have the right help and medication to reduce suffering and improve their quality of life.
  • Respecting people's personal space and privacy in personal care and confidentiality of personal information
  • Enabling people to maintain independence by providing 'that little bit of help'

The Dignity in Care campaign was launched in November 2006, and is hosted by the Social Care Institute for Excellence.