Improvement in NHS levels of privacy and dignity

Patient Environment Action Teams (PEAT) were established in 2000 to assess NHS hospitals. The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) has overseen the management of this programme since 2006.

As with the approach taken by the Care Quality Commission, the PEAT programme is entirely self-assessed with teams made up of members including nurses, matrons, doctors, catering and domestic service managers, executive and non-executive directors, dieticians and patients and their patient representatives or members of the public.

In the three years that the Dignity in Care Campaign has been in place, there has been a 9% increase in the number of sites that have achieved an excellant rating.

How these improvements are possible is highlighted by the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust - A Collaborative Approach

The Practice and Innovation Team at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust have led the local Dignity Campaign following the national launch in November 2006. The team started by writing 'Best Practice Standards for Privacy and Dignity' that were later supported by the development of the Trust's "Pledge" to patients and visitors. The Team's innovative approach was to recognise that no single initiative would ensure that all patients were treated with privacy, dignity and respect and that the solutions utilised needed to be as varied as the staff and local population.