Manchester Dignity in Care Campaign

Manchester launched its Dignity in Care campaign in October 2007, using a Daisy as its emblem, 'branded' so care homes exceeding the standards would be easily recognised by people looking for quality care. Dignity is central to the provision of social care services in Manchester, thereby improving the lives of residents. This is achieved by working in partnership with the Independent and Voluntary Sector (IVS) and PCT's. Dignity posters are now prominent in most homes and organisations and it is a regular item on staff meetings. This campaign has brought dignity out of the shadows and it is now being discussed openly in homes.

A Steering Group led by the Council member responsible for adult social care and including Senior Management, Principal Officers from all relevant services, representatives from the Carers forum, Independent Voluntary Sector and voluntary organisations was set up with the first priority to develop a tool that could measure dignity in all environments. It is developing an outcomes focused action plan promoting the principles through training, service delivery and the inspection, designed to ensure that all managers providing social care services have dignity champions. The sustainable legacy for the project is the improvement of quality of life for Manchester residents and increased job satisfaction for care home staff.

Staff and residents at various IVS homes were consulted during the development and pilot of the toolkit. This entailed spending time with residents. They felt involved in the process and this increased their pride in their home and they welcomed the opportunity to comment on how the home was run and all aspects of their care. Resident, visitor and doctor questionnaires were completed to help validate the information.

The toolkit that has been developed rather than inventing new standards, builds on the excellent work already being done. It is linked to the National Minimum Standards for Care Homes (as used by the Commission for Social Care Inspection to assess Care Homes) and is split into two booklets. The first details what a resident can expect when moving into a home, and the second is a working document that describes how the home actually attained the standards. The first residential home achieved Daisy status in February 2008 and Minister for Care Services Ivan Lewis MP presented the Dignity in Care award and building on this success; 9 further homes are now completing the process.

The toolkit is now being adapted to enable home care agencies to apply for the award. The new toolkit will be linked to the Quality Assessment Framework being developed by the council for home care, with both schemes complimenting each other. It is intended that in the future all services, both statutory and independent, will have achieved the Dignity status.

The work being done on dignity had exceeded expectations particularly by the improved partnership working between the Council, PCT's, Valuing Older People Team, IVS and the sharing of quality information. It is amazing how much can be achieved by really joined-up working - not just lip service!

Manchester is now working with other Local Authorities and PCT's to help them develop their dignity campaigns, sharing knowledge and good practice. This has provided fantastic opportunities for networking.

Minister for Care Services Ivan Lewis MP was very impressed when he visited Manchester in June as part of the Dignity Tour in the region and was impressed with the Daisy Award scheme for Dignity in Care. Mr Lewis said: "I am pleased to be in my home city to discuss two of the most important issues facing society - how to promote dignity in care for all elderly people and how we create a high quality, affordable care system for a rapidly ageing population. People want, and have a right to expect, services with dignity and respect at their heart. We've invested £117 million to help, but this isn't just about money. I want NHS and Social Care services to apply a simple test - if it wouldn't be good enough for my Mother and Father why should it be good enough for someone else's? "

He also presented the first award when he said: 'I am very pleased to add my support to Manchester's work to put dignity and respect at the heart of services for older people. The Government is committed to providing leadership, dignity and respect for older people but this is a shared challenge and responsibility and effective changes to services can only be achieved through successful partnership with organisations such as Manchester City Council who commission services. Manchester's promotion of the daisy as the emblem of their campaign is an excellent way to make the commitment to high standards clearly visible, serving both as a reminder to providers and as a visible reassurance for those seeking services.'

Councillor Basil Curley, MCC's lead member for adult social care and Chair of the Dignity Steering Group added: "Manchester City Council put patient dignity and respect at the heart of our care services and we are working to create a care and support system that meets the needs of our ageing population and their families."

Gillian Moncaster, Workforce Development Outreach Worker, Adult Social Care