North West Region

Added on 13/10/2008
Updated on 07/02/2014

Dignity campaign journey in the North West

Time to Celebrate and Look to the Future!

This is my final update and as such, I will try and capture the key achievements from our Dignity Campaign journey together over the past two years as well as looking with much enthusiasm and excitement to the future of this work across the North West. I have had the pleasure to work with an incredibly committed network of people, without whose support, creativity and motivation, none of the fantastic achievements which we have made, would have been realised and more importantly the voice of local dignity champions would have gone unheard.

I was commissioned to take on this role on a part time basis in September 2008 and found out that there were 580 Dignity Champions that I could draw from across the region and so we began our journey! It was clear from the outset, when I asked what they wanted to focus on, they resoundingly replied that "dignity should be embedded right across the whole system and that it should be Everybody's Business"! This became our mantra and our driving force.

Through identifying key local strategic Dignity Leaders in each of the local economies, we began our Dignity campaign across the region in earnest. There were already strong foundations on which to build, with one of our local authorities having been awarded a Beacon Award for Dignity (Warrington Borough Council) and another having begun nationally recognised work on improving dignity in Care Homes through self- audit, training, and development with the 'Daisy Campaign' (Manchester City Council).

So, what have we achieved?

· Dignity Awareness Raising Events - Over the past two years, we have supported over 50 local events of which a large number of these were local Dignity Campaign Launches led by Chief Executive / Director level leaders (Cumbria, Liverpool, Salford, Trafford, Stockport, Tameside, Halton, Knowsley, Rochdale, Cheshire West and Central and Cheshire East, and Lancashire);

· Increased the number of Dignity Champions - through this we've increased the number of Dignity Champions from 580 in September 08 to a staggering 3,500 in Sept 10 (550% increase);

· Strategic leadership - Every campaign needs leaders at all levels, however, the importance of strategic leadership sponsorship and support cannot be under estimated so we held a highly successful joint conference in July 2009 (with colleagues from Yorkshire and Humber Region) at which there were over 250 senior leaders;

· Local Leadership - 16 sub regional dignity networks have registered on the Dignity Website and have been actively promoting and embedding dignity at a local economy level - http://www.dignityincare.org.uk/dignityChampionNetworks/dignityNetworkMap/. This demonstrates that there is active support to develop dignity champion's roles and influence at a local level. Many of the local Dignity Networks have active dignity steering groups in place to take this work forward and ensure that it is being embedded across the relevant processes including commissioning, safeguarding, dementia, and workforce development and training;

· Role of Overview and Scrutiny Committees - We've led the way with the development of Guidance for Overview and Scrutiny Committees produced and is available to be downloaded at http://www.cfps.org.uk/what-we-do/publications/cfps-health/?id=113. This guidance was developed to support OSC's locally to assess how dignity is being promoted and embedded across the local system and is a legacy product from Warrington Borough Council Dignity Beacon year;

· Awards - The work on dignity across the region has been recognised both regionally and nationally with lots of awards including:

o Beacon Award - Warrington Borough Council for their whole-systems approach to embedding dignity

o People's award for Dignity - Home Instead with their approach to delivering care to people at home.

o Bright Ideas Grant coming from the region (Sewing for Mental Health - a small project in Trafford which is run for women with mental health issues; Red Jug & Beaker Scheme - improving hydration for individual's in hospital - Stockport Foundation NHS Trust (shortlisted for the National Nursing Times Awards), and Food for All - a innovative project to improve vegetarian food choices in hospitals run by the National Vegetarian Society.

o Nursing Time Award Finalists - Tameside and Glossop PCT & Tameside Council for the work which they are doing in auditing and training Care Homes to embed dignity; Red Jug & Beaker Scheme - improving hydration for individual's in hospital - Stockport Foundation NHS Trust (shortlisted for the National Nursing Times Awards);

· Power of Life Stories - The development of the 'Life Story Network' originated from work undertaken in Oldham and is pursuing an application for Charitable Status. The LSN is used as a very effective vehicle to promote personalised approaches to individual care and therefore embedding respecting the dignity of individuals. http://www.lifestorynetwork.org.uk/

· Brownie Dignity Badge - We have agreed with the Greater Manchester Brownie Commissioners develop and pilot a 'Brownies Dignity Badge' (using the Daisy logo from Manchester City Council). The work with children will be piloted in the autumn with a view for roll out nationally after Christmas. The success of this project will promote opportunities for further inter-generational work on 'Dignity' with the Scouts Movement and St John's Ambulance.

And so looking to the future, we have a well established Regional Dignity Leads Network. We held a development day and it was agreed that this would be sustained, and indeed developed further aligned with the new government agenda. The local Dignity Leads, Gillian Moncaster (gillian.moncaster@manchester.gov.uk) is acting chair. Together with the broader membership of the Regional Dignity Leads Network and the wider Dignity Champions across the region, the work on improving the experiences of individuals through respecting their dignity will continue to be the foundation stone of high quality care that we all want and expect.

I would finally just like to say a huge 'thank you' to everyone (both at regional and national level) who have supported this work. I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this important aspect of care and will no doubt continue to be involved in a variety of different ways in the future.

Kind regards,

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