National Pensioner’s Convention Establishes Dignity Code

Monday, 06th February 2012

Published 6 February 2012.

The National Pensioner’s Convention is Britain’s largest pensioner organisation and has recently launched a new Dignity Code which is aimed at upholding the rights and maintaining the personal dignity of older people, whether they are in a care setting or in the community.

Within the Code the National Pensioner’s Convention recognises a list of ten practices and actions that are considered unacceptable to older people, before calling for nine key things that should be upheld in all aspects of helping older people who require support with their care or general affairs. Examples of these include ‘respect for an individual’s habits, values, particular cultural background and any needs, linguistic or otherwise’, ‘comfort, consideration, inclusion, participation, stimulation and a sense of purpose in all aspects of care’ and ‘concerns to be dealt with thoroughly and the right to complain without fear of retribution’.

General secretary of the National Pensioner’s Convention, Dot Gibson, said: “Much of what the Dignity Code calls for is to treat individuals as human beings, rather than as second-class citizens who can have their wishes and feelings ignored and overlooked. Providing someone with personal dignity must be a basic requirement in any care setting – and there must be no excuse for denying someone their right to be treated with respect.”

She also called for the Code to “be seen in every GP surgery, social services department, hospital ward and nursing home” and that it should be “the first step on the long road to getting 21st century care for Britain’s older patients.”

There has been much support for the Code across the care sector and amongst politicians, and a group of twenty-one public figures including Care Minister Paul Burstow have indicated in a letter to the Daily Telegraph that nurses and care workers should have the Code written into their contracts. Other signatories supporting this letter include heads of Age UK, the Royal College of Nursing and the Care Quality Commission.

Carefound is a provider of specialist home care services to elderly people in North Yorkshire, enabling clients to continue to live independently in the comfort of their own home whilst maintaining the highest quality of life achievable. Services provided include basic help in the home, companionship, personal care, medication help, post-operative rehabilitation and specialist help such as dementia care and palliative care. The flexible service ranges from 1 hour to 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, including bank holidays, and can also encompass 24-hour live-in care services. Carefound is based in Harrogate and helps Clients in surrounding towns and villages including (but not limited to) Wetherby, Knaresborough, Boroughbridge, Ripon, Thirsk, Pannal, Bedale, Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale and Masham. For more information please telephone 01423 774070 or visit www.carefound.co.uk.

Source: National Pensioner’s Convention, Carefound.