Growing old and staying healthy - Thursday 20 September 2007

Growing old and staying healthy - Thursday 20 September 2007
‘The way we look after older people is one of the yardsticks by which we
judge the kind of society we are’ Edward Stourton, 1999. This is just one of
the messages from the ‘growing old and staying healthy’ Membersmeet held
on the 20 September 2007.
Older person’s consultant nurse Jonathan Webster added: ‘Privacy & dignity
is a fundamental, non negotiable human right’, and outlined the areas in which
the Trust aims to improve services for older people.
A New Ambition for Old Age (Department of Health 2006) identifies that
ensuring dignity in care should focus upon:
Nutrition & the physical environment
Skills, competence & leadership in the workforce
Assuring quality
Ensuring dignity for those with mental health problems
Ensuring dignity at the end of life
Equalities and human rights
Championing change
Across UCLH different work is happening to ensure that dignity is kept central
to care. As examples, this includes ensuring that dignity awareness is part of
development programmes for staff. Recently Age Concern Islington hosted a
focus group in which older people shared their experiences of dignity within
the Trust. The Trust has also been awarded some money from a national
organisation that is being used to bring nurses and older people together to
explore meaning and understanding of dignity in care through using the
creative arts, this practice development programme has now started and will
finish in March 2008.