South East Dignity Champions Network
The Regional Dignity Leads are stepping down now and handing the dignity baton over to you.
I have been in post since August 2009 and it has been the most fantastic experience working with so many committed dignity champions. There have been many of you who have consistently helped me by sending information at short notice, keeping me up to date, helping at events and helping with projects.
The SCIE evaluation of the dignity campaign clearly highlighted how successful the campaign has been. I think there is one particular piece of evidence that stands out for me and that is leaders emerging, often from very junior positions. I think this has happened because the campaign has empowered champions and they are so passionate about improving care.
Dignity Action Day
Dignity Action Day was a huge success and the SE events were no exception. There were so many pledges from small gestures to organised events. DHSE celebrated the day with three care home events. Please follow the link "Dignity in Care Homes; Caring for people affected by dementia. A report on events held for care home staff to support national dignity action day in the South East":
This report offers recommendations that you may find helpful for the future.
Keep an eye out on the website for the next Dignity Action Day!
Bright Ideas Grant
Bucks50plus forum were successful in their bid for the "The Bright Ideas Grant". Trained volunteers are prepared to assess for dignified care in a variety of environments. Their experiences and learning can be found on the web site so please continue to use the web site to receive this sort on information.
The Dignity Network page on the web site is populated with examples of dignity networks across the region. This is so important to populate so that dignity champions have the opportunity of seeing where there are groups that they may like to contact in the future. Please, would all those who are facilitating meetings/forums etc where dignity is the main focus, add details of these to the national web site network page. Examples would be essence of care meetings; dignity champions support meetings, quality meetings, training sessions, resident meetings, carer support networks etc. This is really important in order to support local dignity champions and sustain and expand on the excellent work that has occurred over the last few years.
I contacted commissioners for good practice examples where dignity is part of their commissioning/contracting processes. Here are three examples;
See the link aside for Examples of Incorporating Dignity Commissioning and Procurement Good Practice
Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM)
Catherine Mullins - Service Development Officer (Adult Services) and Dignity Champion
Commissioning involves a continuous cycle of assessing needs and resources, planning, securing and managing services. RBWM have built dignity into all of the elements of commissioning and procuring services.
A survey with residents of the Borough on the importance of outcomes found that dignity and respect was considered to be the second most important of all of the 7 outcomes. Improving health and wellbeing was considered the most important of the 7, but the clear message from the residents of the borough was that dignity and respect were highly valued in the health and social care field.
Whilst this finding was expected from the assessment, the shared value placed on dignity and respect has led to explicit incorporation of the concepts into all elements of the commissioning and procurement process.
Dignity is included in the tender processes and evaluation of potential service providers, where a critical part of the procedure is demonstrating the way that they would be able to promote dignity and dignified practices in the staff base.
Where there isn't a tender process, all registered service providers have to be accredited with RBWM before their services are used. The accreditation criterion includes ensuring that key policies of the potential service provider are of a high quality, or that where the Accreditation and Monitoring Manager has made recommendations for improvement, this is implemented within a reasonable timeframe. The key policies include Safeguarding, Complaints and Whistle-blowing, all of these are explicitly connected to dignity and further policies may be requested if required. Service providers may not achieve accreditation status if this requirement is not fulfilled.
Social care contracts and services specification are outcome based and therefore have specific sections and clauses which are concerned with the promotion of dignity and respect. As well as CQC regulation all registered care services are monitored in line with the outcomes that are within the contract and specification. RBWM are able to work with service providers through action plans and contract review meetings to support providers in reaching the best levels of care.
Decisions to decommission services are not taken lightly, however dignity and respect issues, especially if they are related to safeguarding and complaints about services, have led to service suspensions. In rare cases, there has been complete decommissioning for some service providers due to these concerns. Whilst every effort is made to support and help providers of services, expectations of standards are high in service delivery.
To further reinforce the importance of dignity to our service providers, dignity and related topics are strongly featured in the quarterly service provider forums that we host. Regular speakers and updates are given at each meeting, for example the MCP Best Interest Assessor and Safeguarding Manager regularly attend. Guest speakers are sourced depending on requests from the forum members and, if there are updates that impact on services this is sent to the service providers between the meetings so that there are regular communications. In addition, at fee negotiation time at the end of the financial year, every service provider is sent a dignity and safeguarding update, last year this included posters, cards and a report on the activity in the Borough.
For the service providers who we do commission with, we are able to offer them access to our staff training programme at significantly subsidised rates. In the rolling programme of training there is a specific course entitled Dignity, Care and Respect of the Older Person which is available and frequently utilised by service providers.
These actions further demonstrate our commitment to keeping dignity in the forefront of provider services.
For further information contact by email only;
Thank you so much to all of you. Please carry on raising the awareness and championing dignity. There are excellent resources on the dignity web site to help you in this task. The Human Rights Action Pack is available and more action packs will be issued on the web site to support public, professional and voluntary champions to sustain the excellent work around dignity in care.
I will be carrying the dignity baton myself in the adult safeguarding and carers work programmes.