Salford and Trafford older people's dignity champions
Salford and Trafford older people's dignity champions was launched to ensure that dignity in care did not remain a philosophy but became part of the fabric of the service.
First, in the summer of 2008, the team asked clinical staff to identify people on their team who they felt offered the best standards of care. These became the dignity champions. They also recruited champions from a number of volunteers who attended a separate launch event of a DVD about innovative carers.
It then set up a series of meetings through Autumn 2008 with local organisations to talk to them about their plans to launch a campaign around dignity for people using mental health services. A Dignity Event was held in February 2009 to launch the new approach, which will lead to a dignity assessment framework within the trust. This event was supported by the RCN, Age Concern, the Alzheimer's Society, local authority representatives, local universities, residential care homes, domiciliary care, the primary care trust and other local interested citizens.
This approach means the dignity framework has been developed by grassroots staff and will therefore provide a 'bottom up' approach to developing services, rather than having something seen as been implemented 'top down' by managers.
One of the volunteers involved as a dignity champion said the project had helped to strengthen some of the weaker points regarding carer and patient dignity.
"I was able to challenge and change ideas and methods and have voiced opinions of people who are not usually heard,' said Dorothy Rowlands.
"At long last somebody is listening to our concerns, ideas and suggestions. Even if this is not put right for us it means it will be put right for others."