Commission on Improving Dignity in Care

discussing medication

The Commission on Improving Dignity in Care was an independent commission established in July 2011 as part of a joint initiative from the NHS Confederation, Age UK and the Local Government Association (LGA).

It aimed to help improve dignity in care for older people in hospitals and care homes.

The commission concluded its work and published its final report on 18 June 2012. The commission has now disbanded.

Focus of the commission

The commission sought to understand how and why older people's care is failing on dignity and what will drive improvement.  The commission explored three main areas:

  • understanding the problem and the need – understanding the extent and root causes of the failure to provide appropriate levels of care to older people and the aspirations of older people and their families in terms of care provided. 
  • establishing what really works – collating existing tools and guidance that support improved levels of care for older people and identifying good practice examples across the health and social care system. 
  • driving change and improvement – developing practical, long-term solutions to help tackle the underlying causes of undignified care.

Reports and recommendations

The commission published its draft report and recommendations in February 2012, setting out ten key recommendations for hospitals and ten key recommendations for care homes to help them tackle the underlying causes of undignified care. 

The commission held a month-long public consultation to gain feedback on its draft report and used the feedback received to help inform the development of its final report and recommendations. 

The final report, Delivering Dignity, was published on 18 June 2012.  


The Partnership on Dignity in Care is now promoting the commission's recommendations to ensure care becomes person-centred, and not task focused. 

Working with the Burdett Trust for Nursing, it has set up a project to help encourage and motivate nurses to listen to, learn from and act on older people's feedback. 


The draft report drew on the body of evidence that the Commission has gathered since it was established in June 2011. 

This includes written evidence submissions from more than 40 organisations, three days of public hearings and expert opinion from academic, medical and nursing reference groups.

View the full list of organisations that submitted written evidence as well as the transcripts from the oral evidence sessions.   

The commissioners

The commissioners included patients' and residents' representatives, experts from the world of nursing and medicine, and management of health and social care services.

View the members of the commission.

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