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Care UK reflects on contributions to promoting dignity as part of Dignity Action Day 2013

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Care UK teams from across the country have been joining with the people they support to promote dignity in care as part of national Dignity Action Day on Friday 1st February.

Chris Hindle, Care UK’s head of Care UK’s Learning Disability Services, said: “Care UK’s services include the people they support in their planning process; in our residential home services we have management meetings that involve residents and some care homes for people with learning disabilities already have dignity committees.

“Understanding what each individual, who receives care or support from Care UK, either in our residential homes for older people, support services for people with learning disabilities or domiciliary care, is key to ensuring dignity. Without genuine choice about how care is delivered there can be no true dignity.”

In Surrey and in Staffordshire people with learning disabilities from across the counties, who use Care UK’s supported living services, will be gathering to explain to professional carers and family members what dignity means to them and how this is promoted in the services they use.

Care UK’s Enablement Lead Nicola Beasley who is helping to organise the event in Staffordshire said: “We have two properties that provide support and accommodation for younger adults, one extra care scheme that supports two older ladies and the other properties provide support for mixed age ranges.

“Dignity means different things to different people at different stages of their lives and we want to find out even more what that really means to the people who use our services and how it affects the way they want to receive support.

“All our teams are trained in helping to maintain dignity and they work very closely with all the people we support, making sure that each individual has a direct input into their personal support plan, but we wanted to be able to talk to them in a relaxed environment about what dignity means to them.”

While in Surrey people with learning disabilities using Care UK residential care will gather at a hotel in Wallington to share their views on dignity. As well as hearing one another’s views there will be scrapbooks produced, with the support of team members, which capture the views of participants with communication difficulties.

Service Manager Daniela Popescu said: “We will use what they tell us in a variety of ways. We will gain new ideas to talk about as we help people create their personal care plan and we will use what they tell us is important in our own planning and in our recruitment and training of new team members.

“We will also take what we learn from the day into our regular meetings with the people who live in the supported service and the subject of dignity will be on the agenda for each meeting from now on.”

In the Derbyshire town of Chapel-en-le-Frith the team, which provides domiciliary care as well as support to younger adults, has developed a survey to gauge their 220 clients views. Branch manager Dawn Goodwin said: “Having a genuine input into your care is key to real dignity. We regularly have surveys to gauge what people think of the service we provide, but we wanted to tie this survey in with Dignity Awareness Day as a reminder for everyone that choice is a fundamental part of dignity.

“When we get the surveys back, we will be able to get a clearer view of what people think, how we can improve and what we are doing right. We will then have information that we can share across Care UK, as well as with the Care Quality Commission and local council.”

Dignity in Action Day is also being celebrated in Care UK’s residential homes for older people. A pamper session involving manicures and massages is planned at Grangewood, Houghton-le-Spring, in Tyne and Wear along with a music and movement session and a buffet lunch and entertainment with friends.

Home Manager Susan Hodgson said: “We asked what they would like to do and we have planned the day around that, because real choice plays a large part in maintaining everyone’s dignity.”

There will be pampering too at the Blyford Court residential nursing home in Lowestoft in the morning before a tea dance in the afternoon hosted by students at the Benjamin Britten School. The dance will include home-made scones and cakes, recreating a yester-year feel with music and a glitter-ball for traditional ballroom dancing.
A similar event will be held in Ipswich when the Care UK team at the Crabbe Street care home, helped by students from Suffolk New College, will be making it a very special day for the residents and day club participants

Creating a dignity tree, using leaves on which residents have written what dignity means to them is how the team at Hollins Park, Cheshire, have chosen to mark the day.

Manager, Tammy Simmons, said: “Providing dignity in care is of paramount importance to everyone who works at Hollins Park. However, everyone’s ideas of what dignity is are different and it important for us to understand what dignity means to our residents and their relatives.”

At Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre, the team will ask patients to name three things that the centre could have done to make their stay extra-special and pre-assessment patients will be asked what their three biggest concerns are before they come in for surgery. The answers will then be used to help the team improve patients’ care experiences in the future.

At Eccleshill NHS Treatment Centre, in Bradford, the teams will also be talking to their patients about what dignity in care means to them and looking at ways they can help to improve patients’ experience as well as raising awareness around the need for dignity in care. And, because everyone feels better when they feel appreciated, free refreshments and hand massages will also be available on the day.

Source: Care UK

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