What is a Dignity Champion?
Dignity Champions are people who believe that ensuring dignity and respect for people using care services is a cause worth pursuing. To Dignity Champions, being treated with dignity isn’t an optional extra, it’s a basic human right. They believe it is not enough that care services are efficient. They must be compassionate too. Champions aim to work in partnership with care providers to improve the quality of services. Dignity Champions are people who, in their own way, are committed to taking some action, however small, in order to create a care system that has compassion and respect for those using its services. Don’t be put off by the term ‘Champion’. The role is not intended to require lots of time, energy and experience. For example, even commending staff on a personal level for respecting dignity helps the campaign.
The National Campaign
The Dignity in Care campaign was launched in November 2006. It aims to put dignity and respect at the heart of UK care services. The campaign (hosted by the Social Care Institute for Excellence) has over 40,000 registered Dignity Champions – be they individuals or care organisations. They are part of a nationwide movement, working individually and collectively, to ensure people have a good experience of care when they need it. They include councillors, staff at all levels in NHS and social care, volunteers, service users, their carers and members of the public.
The Dignity in Care campaign is led by the National Dignity Council, who work together to raise the profile of the network and to place greater emphasis on promoting the work the Dignity Champions do to improve standards of care for people who use services.
The campaign’s core values are about having dignity in our hearts minds and actions, changing the culture of care services and placing a greater emphasis on improving the quality of care and the experience of citizens using services including NHS hospitals, community services, care homes and home support services.
It includes action to:
- Raise awareness of Dignity in Care
- Inspire local people to take action
- Share good practice and give impetus to positive innovation
- Transform services by supporting people and organisations in providing dignified services
- Reward and recognise those people who make a difference and go that extra mile.
South Gloucestershire Dignity Champions
South Gloucestershire established a Dignity Network in 2010. In 2012 Aquila Partnership (previously Care Learning) took over running the network.
Up to 90 people are now attending the network meetings, held approximately twice a year and over 50 people have registered, on the national site, to be Dignity Champions.
How do I sign up as a Dignity Champion?
To find out more about the Dignity in Care Campaign and the support available to Dignity Champions visit www.dignityincare.org.uk