Date Published: 13 October 2008

RCN takes action to put dignity at the heart of health and social care

Nurses are today leading the way in breaking down the barriers that prevent every patient from receiving dignified care. The launch of a complete package of resources will enable the nursing team to provide the best possible care for patients on every ward and in every community.

Earlier this year, a survey from the Royal College of Nursing found that eight out of ten nurses leave work feeling distressed or upset because they felt that they weren't able to ensure that their patients received the care they deserved.

Today, the RCN, supported by Smith and Nephew Healthcare Ltd, is launching a complete package of resources created by nurses, for nurses, that will help put dignity at the heart of everything they do.

Speaking ahead of the launch at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals, in Liverpool, Dr. Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said:

"Politicians on both sides of the divide have made pledges on improving patient dignity, but today the RCN is taking action and launching a resource pack that represents a giant leap towards providing dignified care for every patient and client in every part of healthcare.

Dignity should not be an after thought or an optional extra. Each and every patient - whether they are in a hospital, a GP's surgery, in the community or in a care home - deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Dignity should be integral to nursing care and this campaign is a big step in the right direction."

The Practice Support Pack, Delivering Dignified Care, was developed by the RCN and Help the Aged working together. It will enable nursing team to share best practice by holding workshops locally, so that everyone in health and social care put patient dignity at the heart of everything they do.

This resource includes a DVD with anecdotes of why patient dignity is so important, short films that illustrate how people feel when they don't receive dignified care and examples of how many nurses across the country are already leading the way in providing dignified patient care.

The influencing pack, Small changes make a big difference, will help nurses develop their influencing skills so that they can take practical steps to maintain and promote dignity for patients in their workplace.

Diane Wake, Director of Nursing and Patient Quality for the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust said:

" We take issues of dignity for our patients very seriously and are delighted to show our support for the RCN's campaign by hosting the launch of these Dignity resources. Dignity is something that should be afforded to all NHS patients and here at the Royal Liverpool our nursing staff take this very seriously.

_ We've already implemented a number of improvements and with the new Dignity campaign, hope that we can take this even further and share our learning and good practice with colleagues in other hospitals so that all patients receive the level of dignity and respect that they deserve
."

Source: Royal College of Nursing (RCN), UK.
For more information see http://www.rcn.org.uk.

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