Dignity in Care patient charter
As part of the Island’s celebrations for Nurses’ Day on 12 May 2013, Noble’s Hospital launched a new Patient Charter to highlight the importance of ‘Dignity in Care’ for patients and their families.
The ‘Dignity in Care’ Patient Charter is part of a continued process of working in partnership with patients to improve care at Noble’s Hospital. ‘Dignity in Care’ means providing that care through supporting and promoting a person’s self-respect. Noble’s Hospital is committed to providing services on an individual basis, ensuring that patients and their carers receive a service that meets their particular needs, whenever possible.
The ‘Dignity in Care’ Patient Charter was developed as one of the local responses to the Age UK report published in 2012, entitled: ‘Delivering Dignity’. This report made 37 recommendations for implementation by a variety of organisations including hospitals, care homes, commissioners of care, health care regulators and by individual health care professionals, their managers and employers. The Charter was created in partnership with patients’ representatives of the Noble’s Hospital Vulnerable Adults Group, which exists to make a range of sustained and sustainable improvements in the care of vulnerable adults admitted to Noble’s Hospital. Once produced, the Charter was endorsed by the Vulnerable Adults Champions working on wards and departments at Noble’s Hospital.
Explaining the aim of the ‘Dignity in Care’ Patient Charter, Shelagh Leonard, Acting Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Therapies said:
'We believe that we should treat patients and visitors in the manner in which we would wish to be treated ourselves, and the way in which we would wish our loved ones to be treated. Fundamentally, it is about respecting each other and showing common courtesy. This Charter sets down exactly what patients can, and should, expect from us while they are in our care. We are very fortunate to have some exceptionally experienced and wonderfully enthusiastic patient representatives working with the Noble's Hospital Vulnerable Adults Group. The very hardworking Vulnerable Adults Champions including Nurses, Midwives and Operating Department Practitioners, are committed to working with their colleagues to ensure that all of our patients receive dignified care whilst in hospital.'
The Charter is made up of four overall themes:
Respect: Patients should expect to be addressed politely and sincerely, by their preferred name, using language that they and their families can understand and that maximises respect.
Privacy and Modesty: Patient confidentiality will be maintained at all times. All personal, medical and nursing care will be delivered in privacy to patients at all times. This includes occasions where patients may need to be transferred from one area to another, or when upsetting or sensitive news must be shared with patients. Patients will be provided with support and advice in privacy if they request it.
Self Esteem: Patients can expect to be protected from discrimination, all forms of abuse and infringements of personal rights on any grounds. Patients’ spiritual, linguistic, cultural and dietary needs and practices will be respected.
Autonomy: Patients and their carers can expect to be given all available information and the opportunities to be supported and encouraged to be involved in their care choices. The overall aim is to allow patients to exercise independence in personal care choices and preferences.
Member for Health Services, Dudley Butt MLC, said:
'The issue of dignity is so important in healthcare, so I very much welcome the development of this charter. The contents of the document are not new, and Noble’s Hospital’s already exceptional and patient focussed approach to care has not changed; but this charter formally details exactly what patients can expect when at Noble’s Hospital, ensuring that the hospital’s robust standards are clearly and easily communicated to patients.'
The full text of the Dignity Charter is available in a leaflet given to patients and will be displayed in poster format throughout Noble’s Hospital.