It has been deeply saddening to see reports highlighting cases of undignified care of older people in our hospitals and care homes. In too many instances, people have been let down when they were vulnerable and most needed help.
We know there are many hospitals and care homes out there providing fantastic levels of care for older people and we need to learn from them to get dignified care right for every person every time.
This is why we established the Partnership on Dignity in Care with the Local Government Association (LGA) and Age UK and set up the independent Commission on improving dignity in care for older people in hospitals and care homes.
Commission on improving dignity in care
The Commission on improving dignity in care – made up of experts from across the health and social care system – has been trying to understand how and why older people’s care is failing on dignity, what drives improvement and to set out practical solutions for getting it right in future.
Implementing Delivering Dignity event
On 3 October, we held an ‘action planning’ event to discuss how we can use the recommendations in the Commission on improving dignity in care’s final report to make dignified care for older people a reality.
The event, held in conjunction with Age UK and the Local Government Association (LGA) – our partners on the Commission – provided members with an opportunity to:
- learn more about the findings and recommendations in the report
- learn about the best practice examples shared with the Commission
- contribute to discussions on how we can develop a long-term action plan to support delivery of the Commission’s recommendations.
For more information, please visit the event page.
Final report and recommendations
The Commission held a month-long public consultation to gain feedback on its draft report and the Commission used the feedback received to help inform the development of its final report and recommendations.
Read the final report and recommendations, Delivering Dignity, was published on 18 June 2012.
In a joint foreword, the Commission co-chairs, from Age UK, NHS Confederation and the Local Government Association say: "We set up the Commission because older people and their loved ones deserve so much better.
Major cultural shift
"Delivering dignity will mean changing the way we design, pay for, deliver and monitor care services as the numbers of older people in care continues to grow. Alongside the consistent application of good practice and the rooting out of poor care, we need a major cultural shift in the way the system thinks about dignity, to ensure care is person-centred and not task-focused.
"This will require empowered leadership on the ward and in the care home, as well as a lead from boards and senior managers. It will also mean changing the way we recruit and develop staff working with older people.
"We have to work with older people to shape services around their needs, and listen to patients and residents and their families, carers and advocates so we learn from their feedback and continually improve dignity in care."
Find out more about the work of the Commission and see its final report and recommendations.