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Minister Announces Push To Safeguard Dignity In Care For Older People, UK

May 13, 2017

A new campaign aimed at securing dignity in care for older people was announced today by Care Services Minister Ivan Lewis.

Speaking at the Elder Abuse Guaranteeing Dignity and Well being for older people conference, Care Services Minister Ivan Lewis said: "Next month I will launch the first ever national dignity in care campaign. Our mission should be no less than creating a care system where there is zero tolerance of abuse and disrespect of older people.

"The generation that helped to keep this country free and make it great have the right to be protected from abuse and treated with total respect.

"We want to create a situation where people in this country are as outraged by the abuse of parents and grandparents as they are at the abuse of children".

The campaign will begin in London on 14 November with the first of three regional events to bring together care providers with local activists who have agreed to act as Older People's Champions. The Champions will play a central role in bringing about change in local care communities.

Care providers and Champions will be supported with an online resource guide produced by the Social Care Institute of Excellence and the Care Services Improvement Partnership.

The Minister made clear that there is a huge difference between being overly familiar with an older person or not helping them dress properly and actively being abusive or attacking them. Improving older people's dignity is not a substitute for tackling elder abuse.

Ivan Lewis continued: "The NHS is Britain's proudest achievement. Twenty first century healthcare should have dignity and respect at its heart. As well as stamping out maltreatment I want to celebrate the many heroes who on a daily basis ensure older people are valued and respected in the way that they deserve."

On Thursday 12 October, the Chief Nursing Officer and National Director for Older People held a nursing summit to consult nurse leaders on how to make sure that dignity in care is embedded into frontline services of the NHS.

The summit has been designed to ask how nurses can take the lead on the dignity agenda and to learn about examples of where good practice is already in place.

Chief Nursing Officer Chris Beasley said: "The summit will provide an excellent contribution to our on-going work to strengthen dignity in care. Nurses are at the forefront of the Dignity in Care agenda and this summit will enable good practice to be shared and give an opportunity for the issues and challenges to nursing leadership in this area to be discussed and taken forward."

National Director for Older People, Professor Ian Philp said: "Nurse leadership is essential to ensure dignity in care for older people in hospital settings. The profession should determine how this is provided, with the accountabilities clear at hospital and ward levels."

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For further information please go to:
UK Department of Health