North East Dignity News

Added on 17/09/2008
Updated on 10/10/2008

Peter Carr

Health and Social Care Awards 2008 - More about our North East Dignity in Care Award Winner

Those reading the Dignity in Care Summer Newsletter (Edition 8) will have seen the success of the Macmillan patient and user focused care project in winning the North East Regional Dignity in Care Award. The winners are a Macmillan team based at Peterlee Community Hospital (Darlington PCT). The project was undertaken as part of the work needed to achieve a five star rating (the first time this has ever been achieved) for the Teesside Excellence in Practice Accreditation Scheme (EPAS). Details of the EPAS model can be found on

In working on the accreditation, the team held innovative patient and public involvement events, asking care home residents as well as clients in the community for feedback on the services they offer. This led to a project involving the Macmillan team and a Marie Curie Nurse who worked alongside staff at a local Care Home (for people with Dementia) to share skills and promote the use of the end of life tools in this setting. Part of the project evaluation involved an audit based around the Dignity Challenge.

Other issues arising from the feedback were that respondents and their relatives wished they had known more about the services offered by the Macmillan team at an earlier stage in their illness. In response members of the team now speak to community groups to raise awareness about the service and ensure that staff at the three local hospitals are also aware of when and how to refer to the team. In particular the services provided by the Macmillan specialist rehabilitation team are promoted to ensure patients and families receive information advice and support to ensure they remain as independent and active for as long as possible. EPAS also enabled them to produce improved patient information in consultation with service users and to the development of a website accessible on:

They also developed a team audit strategy which included an audit of their documentation to demonstrate the collaborative approach to care, decision making and support that is offered.

The Macmillan Palliative Care Team is led by Kay McAlinden who is one of four nurses, a carers manager, nine carers, a physiotherapist, dietitian, a therapy technician, administrative support, and visiting consultant and Macmillan GP facilitator. The team is particularly proud of the fact that 78% of clients have achieved their preferred place of death, which in the vast majority of cases is at home. The team works well in partnership with District Nurses and a Hawthorns care home next to the hospital (which does not have beds itself), where there are step up palliative care beds for short term use. The PCT has confidence in the service and has asked for its carer services to cover a broader area.

The team is involved in a number of new initiatives and developments. It has now moved onto surveying bereaved relatives about the whole of the patient journey. This is used to triangulate the views from the patient and carers. On service improvements, they are hoping to add counselling and aromatherapy to the range of services the team can offer. They work with a range of partners including the local Macmillan Cancer Information Centre, looking at consultation skills for GPs and providing training on aspects of cancer prevention and screening for people with a learning disability.

Middlesbrough Dignity in Care Awards 2008 Middlesborough Awards

Middlesbrough launched its own Dignity in Care Awards scheme to take the Dignity Challenge forward with all sectors. This culminated in an award ceremony in Middlesbrough on 6th June attended by over 200 people where Ray Mallon, the Mayor of Middlesbrough, presented awards.

Middlesbrough Adult Care led the award, first seeking nominations in 6 categories based on the ten Dignity Challenge principles. Diane

  • Service User /Carer outstanding contribution
  • Empowered another (maximised independence)
  • Engaged well with family members and carers
  • Gone the extra mile and made a real difference
  • Shown respect
  • Challenged abuse

All care sectors and the local NHS organisations were invited to participate by letter, a Dignity web-site, and posters in busy locations such as doctors surgeries. Over 100 entries were submitted. These were judged by a panel comprising exclusively of service users and carers. The overall winner of the Care Awards was Gillian Marshall, manager of the Middlesbrough Deaf Centre who also won the empowerment category. All nominees received certificates. The winners of the all categories are listed below:

  • Service user and/or carer outstanding contribution gillian
    Michelle Taylor care assistant, Kirkley Lodge
  • Empowered others
    Gillian Marshall
  • Engaged well with family members and carers
    Parveen Walayat, project worker with the Boro Asian Women's Circle
  • Gone the extra mile and made a real difference
    David Widdowson, praveenmaintenance technician, Teesside Community Equipment Service
  • Shown dignity and respect
    Nicola Johnston, senior enablement worker Lansdowne Road Day Centre
  • Safeguarding Adults and helped improve the life of others
    Elaine Stephens, manager of St Judes

The whole process enabled those involved to reflect on the nature of Dignity in Care, raise the profile of Dignity, give recognition and spread good practice. For a longer account of this initiative by the lead officer, Middlesbrough workforce development manager and Dignity Champion Clement O'Donovan (clement_o' see the resources sector. There is there is also a copy of the nomination form used.

Throwing Down the Dignity Challenge Event Report

The Dignity Challenge event took place on May 15th 2008 at the Newcastle College conference Centre and was a huge success. The Event was chaired by Linda Christon the North East Regional Director for the Commission for Social Care Inspection.

Over 50 delegates attended the event, 30 of which 'signed up' to be dignity champions in Newcastle and North Tyneside. The new Dignity Champions come from a wide range of sectors including Local Authority, PCT, Independent and Third-Sector organisations.

Rachel Swallow, Dignity Project Lead for the Department of Health set the scene by outlining the governments agenda to raise awareness and stimulate debate around dignity in care.

Examples of good practice and work already in progress were given by Sandra Grey - Age Concern, Chris Dugdale - Newcastle City Council and Clare Abley from Newcastle PCT.

Attendees also attended workshops sharing ideas and debating progress for commissioning with Dignity, the 10 Steps of the Dignity Challenge and Best Practice in Palliative Care. Service users from Newcastle and North Tyneside also played a key role in the day.

  • North East Dignity Challenge Event
    The Dignity Challenge event took place on May 15th 2008 at the Newcastle College Conference Centre and was a huge success. The Event was chaired by Linda Christon the North East Regional Director for...