Portsmouth Hospital Dignity Initiatives

Added on 26/05/2009

Dignity Links- In June 2007, (way before we 'needed' to!!) we decided that if Dignity in Care was to be viewed within our department as 'as important' as other issues such as Infection Prevention and Control, Falls, Risk etc, it should have the same networks and standing.

With this in mind, each ward and department was asked to nominate a 'Dignity Link' member of staff, somebody who not only could become a champion and represent the views, concerns and initiatives from their respective areas, but also to be a positive role model too.

The group has now expanded to include two staff from each area and meets monthly to reflect on issues, support colleagues and share practice. Minutes reflect the honest dialogue needed to expand issues and tackle ongoing Dignity issues.

Auditing - The department hosts Interprofessional Learning Unit (IPLU) students who come in for two weeks, twice a year, to learn how to work as a multi-professional team and are given audits to undertake. Using the then recently released Dignity Challenge; they were tasked with developing a transferable audit tool and then benchmark our service against this.

We have also used the group to audit our wards' individual Protected Mealtimes, providing a valuable insight into local issues.

Refocusing - The Dignity agenda has been widened to include a PCT-wide group, with many very senior individuals from board-level down, having a passion and drive to improve dignity and therefore the patient experience.

Maintenance issues involving Dignity are now given an accelerated response from our facilities management and meals have been improved not only nutritionally, but aesthetically too.

Experiencing - One of our wards used an away-day opportunity to get their staff to experience just what it is like to have certain care needs met be other people...

Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) - Following a successful bid to NESC, 26 care staff from across the Portsmouth health and social care economy have been trained to use DCM. The project aims to not only share good practice across the acute hospital, social care homes and our own department, but to provide important insights and evidence to improve journeys for older people with dementia.

DignityGarden - A large area grassed-over area outside one of our wards has been designed, landscaped and built to specifically meet the needs of older people with cognitive and physical impairment. The design has many features borrowed directly from good building design for dementia and other peoples' views and experiences from around the UK.

To truly reflect the commitment to improving the patient experience, the PCT is funding a 10 million pound, purpose-built 36 bedded unit to relocate the OPMH department into. Each bedroom is single with ensuite facilities, and of course, specifically designed gardens!

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