Promoting and ensuring that dignity is a reality for all

February 1, 2018

Most of us at some point in our lives will be in contact with care services, be that in our work, as a person needing care and support, carer, relative or friend and when we do we hope we will be treated with Dignity and Respect. Over 2 million health and social care staff in the UK work around the clock to provide support and care for those in need. Over 74,000 Dignity Champions from all walks of life have joined forces to provide a more dignified service for everyone.

Consensus is helping to make sure that dignity is a reality for all. Over and above the care that Consensus provides on a daily basis we are proud that Simon Jones, our Lead Behavioural Practitioner at Consensus, is involved in a number of key reports that help shape how those who work in health and social care promote and ensure Dignity in Care. As chair of the Royal College of Nursing’s Learning Disability Forum he was recently involved in the production of one of their most pertinent publications ‘Dignity in Health care for people with learning disabilities.’

A great wealth of knowledge and experience contributed to this 3rd edition, with forum member and lead author, Steve Hardy, working closely with a variety of service users and experts by experience.

As chair of the forum, Simon, said: “Treating people with dignity is an important concept when caring for anyone, but especially so for patients with a learning disability. They will have individual and different needs and can struggle to communicate these, often reliant on support from others.

“However, it is all too easy to therefore fall into the trap of directing our communication and attention to a person’s carer rather than interacting with the person directly. I have seen people being treated more like an object than a person in this way, not due to malice but more a lack of understanding of how to interact with someone and treat them with the maximum dignity.

This publication will greatly help with this and is essential reading for everyone working within health care, especially at a time when services are over-stretched and understaffed with dignity often the first casualty.”

Simon is also currently working on, as a member of the Guideline Development Group, the about to be published, NICE Guidelines on “Older People with a Learning Disability” which also has significant implications regarding both Dignity & Safeguarding.