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Dignity in Care report published

The Commission on Improving Dignity in Care has published its draft report into the care of older people. The joint initiative that incorporates directives from the NHS Confederation, Age UK and the Local Government Association aims to establish long-term solutions that safeguard against the likelihood of undignified care through a better understanding of how service failures occur.

2 March 2012

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The 'Delievering Dignity' report sets out ten key recommendations for hospitals. These include that staff should challenge practices they believe are not in the best interests of the people in their care and that hospitals recruit staff with compassionate values as well as the necessary clinical and technical skills.

The report also makes ten key recommendations for care homes.:

1. The government should establish a Care Quality Forum (in parallel with the Nursing Quality Forum) to look at all aspects of care home staffing, including issues of status and pay, qualifications, recruitment, retention, development, monitoring and regulation. In the longer term the profession should consider working towards establishing a College of Care to lead on these issues.

2. The care sector should work with professionals, residents, relatives' organisations, local authorities and government to develop a clear rating scheme for care homes based on nationally
agreed standards and benchmarks.

3. Care homes need to work with residents to create an environment that make their lives happy, varied, stimulating, fulfilling and dignified. This means involving older people as full and active participants in shaping their daily lives, rather than seeing them
as passive recipients of care.

4. Building links with the wider community is an important part of creating a caring environment and developing a culture of openness. Volunteers can greatly enhance the quality of life in care homes.

5. Care homes should invest in greater use of technology to improve the quality of care and support residents in enjoying active and independent lives.

6. All care home staff must take personal responsibility for putting the person receiving care first, and staff should be urged to challenge practices they believe are not in the best interests of residents.

7. Care home providers should invest in support and regular training for their managers. Local authorities have an important role to play in facilitating this as commissioners of care.

8. Boards and managers have a duty to ensure buildings are fit for use for older people, particularly those with dementia.

9. Ensuring access to medical care is an important responsibility of care homes. Residents in a private care home have just the same rights to NHS care as everyone else.

10. Providing end-of-life care tailored to the wishes and needs of each individual is central to dignified care in all care homes. Residents should be allowed to die in their own care home if that is their wish.

 For the full draft report see http://www.nhsconfed.org/Documents/dignity.pdf

The consultation process ends on 27 March 2012 and the Commission is expected to publish its final report in the summer.

 

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