The first of February marked Dignity Action Day, an annual opportunity for health and social care professionals and members of the public to raise awareness of people’s rights to dignity. There are over 40,000 Dignity Champions across the country who believe care services should be compassionate and person-centred. The Champions pledge to challenge poor care and act as good role models. Dignity Action Day, organised by the Dignity in Care Network, is a time where local communities can come together to hold events and activities that promote and celebrate dignity.
Many organisations around the country marked Dignity in Action day. Just one example is Islington Age UK. Andy Murphy CEO of Age UK Islington was one of the judges for Islington Council’s Care Worker Award. The Care Worker Award recognises and showcases the work of formal care staff and contractors who provide a dignified service to residents. 18 finalists were nominated by Care Managers from across Islington with the winner announced on Dignity Action Day.
Age UK came together with the Local Government Association and the NHS Confederation to set up the Commission on Dignity in Care for Older People. This is dedicated to finding long-term solutions to tackling poor care that work on the ground and improve dignified care for older people. The final report, Delivering Dignity was published in summer 2012, with 37 recommendations.
The Commission is jointly chaired by Dianne Jeffrey, chairman of Age UK; Sir Keith Pearson, until recently chair of the NHS Confederation; and Cllr David Rodgers, chair of the LGA Wellbeing Board. The Commission Chairs and Age UK along with key partners are now working to implement the recommendations in the final report. For Dignity Action Day the Commission Chairs pledged: ‘Dignity is really important to us and we will continue to play our part working with others across the health and social care system to help make dignified care a reality for every older person.’