Dignity at All Times

DIGNITY has been a key element of care at Kings Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The hospital's trust is launching a Dignity Code to ensure that all staff have clear guidance on how to uphold the rights and maintain the dignity of all patients using the services.

The Code was devised by a working party led by Barbara James, divisional chief nurse, and has been agreed by the Patient Experience Committee and approved by the hospital's governors.

The Dignity Code helps staff to identify how to address patients, respect individual's decisions and ensure that care is adapted as far as possible to meet the needs of the individual.

A copy of the Dignity Code will be attached to the December payslip.

Staff are also encouraged to become Dignity Champions by signing up at www.dignityincare.org.uk.

By doing so they commit to:

  • Stand up and challenge disrespectful behaviour rather than just tolerate it
  • Act as good role models by treating other people with respect, particularly those who are less able to stand up for themselves
  • Speak up about Dignity to improve the way that services are organised and delivered
  • Influence and inform colleagues
  • listen to and understand the views and experiences of citizens.

The trust will be celebrating national Dignity in Action Day on February 1, in order to raise awareness of the importance of Dignity in Care and remind society that the dignity of those in the community is not the sole responsibility of health or social care staff but that everyone has a role to play.

The day will also remind the public that staff have a right to be treated with dignity and respect too.

The trust is holding a competition for staff to complete the sentence "Dignity is ....." in less than 10 words.

The idea is to have a series of posters with practical examples of how everyone can help to maintain people's dignity.