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This month I want to focus on dignity and in particular dignity in care, which has featured in the news a lot lately, or rather the lack of dignity in care.

Dignity is one of those things that I fear we take for granted, not even thinking about how important it is to us and others until we are faced with its absence. Dignity is a basic human right not an ‘add on’ to how we behave towards others. Dignity in care means treating people with respect, recognising and valuing their uniqueness, and enabling them to exercise choice and control in their lives and being as independent as possible. Dignity in care is not just about service promises. Dignity in care starts with each individual health and social care worker. It is about being person centred and compassionate and treating the people you support as equals.

The Dignity Challenge which started in 2006 has gained momentum with many workplaces having ‘Dignity Champions’ who actively promote dignity in care. The 10 point Dignity Challenge below highlights what high quality services that respect people’s dignity should look like.

  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 & support people to express their needs & 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 positive self-esteem
  10. Act to alleviate people’s loneliness and isolation

How well would you do if you took the Dignity Challenge today? Want to do better? Here’s how you can start making a difference today… just log on and learn…

The Dignity in Care Network – great source of information, ideas, resources; how to become a Dignity Champion for your workplace and how to put dignity in care into action. Find out more at:

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) – great source for learning more about how to promote dignity in care practice. Find out more at:

Happy learning until next time…