Department of Health and Social Care
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Sir Michael Parkinson and Phil Hope launch first dignity in care award

Sir Michael Parkinson and Phil Hope launch first dignity in care award

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH News Release issued by COI News Distribution Service. 10 November 2008

The first ever award which recognises people who treat patients with dignity and respect and who provide outstanding care is launched today by Sir Michael Parkinson and Care Services Minister Phil Hope.

The People's Award for Dignity in Care is open to everyone. Anyone can nominate individuals or teams who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to improve patient dignity in care.

Local nominees will be put forward for a regional award and one overall winner will then be chosen by panel of national judges.

The number of Dignity Champions across the country has already risen to more than 3,000. Dignity Champions. They include managers, frontline staff, porters, MPs and, most famously, Michael Parkinson. They are all committed to making a difference to the way in which older people are treated in care.

Dignity Ambassador Sir Michael Parkinson said:

"I'm delighted that there will now be a People's Award for Dignity in Care. It is important that we celebrate the people who are dedicated to raising standards of care all across the country.

"What really inspires me about the Dignity in Care campaign is that we can all contribute to improving the way elderly people are treated when they receive care. Most of us will at some point be in contact with care services - be that in our work, or as a service user, a carer or a relative or friend. I would encourage everyone to help drive up care standards, whether that be by reporting poor care if we see it, or if we witness someone going that extra mile we should take the time to show our appreciation.

"The People's Award for Dignity in Care is a great way to recognise the dedication of health and care staff to treating people with the dignity and respect they deserve."

Minister of State for Care Services, Phil Hope said:

"People want and have a right to expect services with dignity and respect at their heart, so I am delighted to launch the Dignity in Care Awards today so we can celebrate those people dedicated to raising standards of care all across the country.

"Any member of the public can nominate a member of staff or team for the Dignity in Care Awards, which will recognise and reward high standards of care. Ultimately, higher standards will enable people to live their own lives as they wish, confident that services are of high quality, are safe and promote their own individual needs for independence, well-being and dignity."

Notes to Editors:

Nominations for the Dignity Awards open soon and close 6 March 2009. To register interest, go to http://www.healthandsocialcareawards.org.uk and click on 'Register your Interest'. You will be sent details of how to make a nomination.

The criteria are for a person or a team who are focussed on the person, by providing simple, clear and accessible information about services; provide a better service by striving to deliver a service that's personal; and show dignity and respect by supporting people to express their needs and wants.

Regional winners will be picked by a judging panel of local experts from across the health and social care sector

Dignity Champion case studies from across England are available on request - please contact Department of Health Newsdesk on 020 7210 5221

Dignity Champions come from different walks of life. Anyone can become a Dignity Champion. What they do in their roles as Dignity Champions varies widely but what they all share is a commitment to making a difference, however small, to the way older people experience care.

For further details or to sign up to become a dignity champion see http://www.dignityincare.org.uk

High quality care services that respect people's dignity should:

1. Have a zero tolerance of all forms of abuse

2. Support people with the same respect you would want for yourself or a member of your family

3. Treat each person as an individual by offering a personalised service

4. Enable people to maintain the maximum possible level of independence, choice and control

5. Listen and support people to express their needs and wants

6. Respect people's right to privacy

7. Ensure people feel able to complain without fear of retribution

8. Engage with family members and carers as care partners

9. Assist people to maintain confidence and a positive self esteem

10. Act to alleviate people's loneliness and isolation

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