Age Concern Cheshire's Dignity Work

Project 1


A dignity audit of older person's beds was undertaken on behalf of Central and Eastern Cheshire PCT, across four provider trusts, (Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, East Cheshire NHS Trust-Acute Services, Cheshire & Wirral MH Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Cheshire East Community Health).


September to December 08.


To provide the necessary information to enable the PCT to meets its own dignity challenge of ensuring that only services which respect dignity are commissioned as per the PCT quality schedules.


To examine the extent to which services are measuring up to the National Dignity Challenge, engaging with staff at all levels and by capturing the voice of older service users, their families and carers in respect to their customer experience and to promote positive change by sharing and celebrating best practice.


  • Boundaries of work prescribed by the dignity challenge.
  • 10 challenges and 41 associated questions.
  • Practice audit.
  • Policy & procedures audit.
  • Environmental audit.
  • Lived experiences audit: 1:1interviews focus groups, video diaries, questionnaires.


  • Report on each provider to the PCT, & general summary listing "what was good" and "where further work needs to take place".
  • Directly from what local older people told us we developed a dignity assessment tool for use by providers, which was also cross referenced to the dignity challenge.
  • Mixed media presentation, recently been used to senior leads.


We are now at the stage of utilising this audit in partnership with the PCT and the Trusts to address areas for improvement and in sharing the best practice, this is helping to define and target training, raise awareness and focus attention and resources on areas such as the impact on dignity of multiple ward moves, more robust care management systems, dignity in death pathways, good admission/discharge, empowering older adults to raise their expectations and better ways to gain customer insight.

The PCT is utilising the audit to refine its contracting arrangements and the Trusts will be piloting the assessment tool.

The success of the innovative processes used within this audit has also provided the PCT and ourselves with scope for further work to develop how we will capture the voice of older people, their families and carers in the future, the techniques being especially effective in capturing the voices of those from seldom heard groups.

Project 2

We are working with Western Cheshire PCT to more appropriately build quality into contracting arrangements with their providers, resulting in improved and more robust contracts in relation to dignity and raising awareness to directors and providing expert advice to senior leads utilising Age Concern Cheshire's extensive older person's networks to provide feedback.

General Work

We are working to increase awareness with all partners around dignity and respect, including with our commissioners & providers in health and social care, with private sector providers,(for example presentations to private sector provider forums), impact of this area of work on our other partners such as Cheshire Fire and Rescue & Cheshire Constabulary, elected members,(scrutiny work), through our membership of adult safeguarding boards and where ever possible with the general public,(articles in local media and promotion through our older persons networks etc).

Currently looking at how social media might be used as to increase citizen awareness of the issues around this topic and for new ways to be found to widen local engagement within this work utilising social media, (Face book, twitter etc).

Also working to embed this issue within local structures and processes such as our two Local Area Agreements, L.S.P.`s and within our two new Sustainable Community Strategies.