New code established to safeguard older people’s dignity in care

22 Feb 2012 11:09 AM
Britain’s biggest pensioner organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) today (Wednesday February 22) launches a high profile Dignity Code which sets out minimum standards for the dignified treatment of older people, whether in hospital or the community. The Code has been widely supported by both those in the care sector and across the political spectrum. Signatories include care minister Paul Burstow and his opposite number Liz Kendall, along with Dame Jo Williams of the Care Quality Commission, Dr Peter Carter of the RCN and Lord Stewart Sutherland, chair of the Royal Commission on long-term care.

The NPC is also calling on the public to support the initiative by signing an online petition. Campaigners hope to attract over 100,000 signatures to trigger a debate in the House of Commons on the need to improve the care of Britain’s elderly. The petition can be signed at: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/27050.

Dot Gibson, NPC general secretary said: “Every week we are struck by another headline which reveals the neglect and ill treatment of older people either in their own home, a care home or hospital. This has got to stop. Much of what the Dignity Code calls for is to treat individuals as human beings, rather than as second-class citizens who can have their wishes and feelings ignored and overlooked. Providing someone with personal dignity must be a basic requirement in any care setting – and there must be no excuse for denying someone
their right to be treated with respect. The Code should be seen in every GP surgery, social services department, hospital ward and nursing home. Individuals and their families should have confidence that certain practices will be unacceptable and that they can demand better treatment. This is the first step on the long road to getting 21st century care for Britain’s older patients.”

1. The NPC Dignity Code will be formally launched in the House of Commons at 4.30pm, on 22 February, Dining Room D by the NPC and Care Minister, Paul Burstow MP.

2. The NPC Dignity Code can be viewed here:

3. The signatories to the NPC Dignity Code include:

Dot Gibson General Secretary, National Pensioners Convention

Paul Burstow MP, Care Minister

Liz Kendall MP, Shadow Care Minister

Dave Prentis General Secretary, UNISON

Brendan Barber General Secretary, TUC

Dr Peter Carter Chief Executive and General Secretary, RCN

Baroness Sally Greengross, EHR Commissioner

Lord Stewart Sutherland Chair, Royal Commission on Long Term Care

Rodney Bickerstaffe Chair, National Pensioners’ Education and Welfare Centre 

Gary Fitzgerald Chief Executive, Action on Elder Abuse

Ciaran Devane Chief Executive, Macmillan Cancer Support 

Michelle Mitchell Charity Director, Age UK 

Ruth Marks, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales

Dame Jo Williams Chair, Care Quality Commission

Martin Green Chief Executive, English Community Care Association

Allan Bowman Chief Executive, Social Care Institute for Excellence

Penny Thompson Chief Executive, General Social Care Council

Brendan Johnston Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Social Care Council

Annette Bruton Chief Executive, Scottish Care Inspectorate

Prof Alan Walker Sheffield University

Prof Julienne Meyer City University London