The South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health and learning disability services to the people of Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, is helping to make sure that dignity is a reality for all by supporting Dignity Action Day on Thursday 25th February.
Most of us at some point in our lives will be in contact with care services, be that in our work, as a service user, carer, relative or friend and when we do we hope we will be treated with dignity and respect.
Dignity Action Day is a national initiative lead by the Dignity in Care campaign to bring staff and members of the public together to make a difference to those who receive care.
The Trust is holding an event in partnership with Branches Day Centre in Batley, which is a day centre for older people with a learning disability, to promote everyone’s right to dignity in care.
Student nurse Nicola Jowett will be running the coffee morning where service users are invited to discuss the things they do to look after themselves as they are getting older to celebrate and share these ideas.
Nicola aims to use the group to help individuals think about and record activities including accessing healthcare/health promotion, keeping active, pursuing interests and relaxation.
Service user suggestions so far have included, "I eat fish its good for your brain" and "I go for walks, that’s good for you".
Jan Howard, team leader of the Trust’s Community Learning Disability Team in Dewsbury, said, "The event promotes dignity in care by encouraging a high level of service user involvement. It supports the idea of helping people to care for themselves as opposed to passive recipients of care and it celebrates the idea of using individual approaches to promote a more positive outlook to growing older."
Through Dignity Action Day Nicola will work closely with the support staff at Branches, who are also registering as dignity champions, to ensure service users are treated as individuals, are given choice, control and a sense of purpose in their daily activities and are provided with stimulating activities.
Sir Michael Parkinson, who is a national dignity ambassador, said, "It might well be that the difference people make individually is a mere ripple on the surface of our care system, but each of those ripples added together create a wave, a social movement and if that makes life better for some – then it has to be worthwhile. Dignity in care must be everybody’s business; I hope people will do whatever is in their power to make a difference."
Anybody can support dignity action day. For more information visit www.dignityincare.org.uk where resource packs full of ideas and useful information for staff and members of the public can be found.