New dignity campaign launched in Wales

Every social care worker in Wales will be given new guidance as part of a major campaign to ensure the people they look after are treated with the dignity they deserve.

The toolkit has been put together by Care Forum Wales, the organisation which represents 500 private care providers.

It will be available in a downloadable form on the Care Forum Wales website and will combine film, audio and written material in a package aimed at promiting dignity and respect in the care sector.

The campaign has been given the seal of approval by a leading member of the Welsh Government when it was launched at a special event in Abergavenny.

Gwenda Thomas, the Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, said: “The dignity toolkit is excellent and incredibly useful in explaining how we ensure that dignity in care is promoted.

“I am delighted to see the launch of the toolkit and I will promote it and encourage its use and by working together ensure that its aspirations become a reality for people in Wales.

“The Minister for Health and Social Services was at the Wales Care Awards and she was inspired by the good practice that came forward from across Wales.

“The Dignity in Care award we sponsor at the awards is in its fourth consecutive year and this highlights the importance that we place on this issue. Treating citizens with dignity is one of our core principles.”

The launch was attended by over 100 delegates from the care sector from across Wales.

Mario Kreft, the Chair of Care Forum Wales said: “The toolkit is about bringing together best practice from across Wales so that we can learn from each other.

“It is a very practical way forward because you can only build quality into a system and we in Care Forum Wales are committed to  building quality into the system.

“You can’t have a supervisor with a clipboard in the home of every service user so we have to build a quality system that provides the best service we can and dignity in care is absolutely paramount.

“We plan to get the toolkit out to every single social care worker in Wales.”

The toolkit has also been endorsed by Ruth Marks, the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, David Francis, the Deputy Chief Inspector for the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales and by Arwel Ellis-Owen, Chairman of the Care Council for Wales.

Care Forum Wales has its own Dignity Charter and Jan Wood, the Forum’s National Workforce Development Adviser, said that three workshops had been held across Wales to gather examples of good practice, raise awareness of issues and to learn from each other.

She said: “Emotional intelligence is critical to our job, you need it to have empathy with people.

“Respect is fundamental to dignity and we have to have respect for people and their habits even if they might seem very peculiar to us or their values might not be those we share.

“It is important to look at the different ways of putting over the message in the toolkit which is to realise that people are individuals and have a different outlook on what they feel comfortable with. It might be their daily routine or a sensitivity to beign touched.

“It is important to find out what are the barriers to dignity. People tend to say it’s time and risk but if people feel powerless they often feel frustrated and they are more difficult to deal with.

“Dignity is at the heart of what Care Forum Wales stands for and is central to everything that we do.”

Photograph: From left, Mario Kreft, Chair of Care Forum Wales; Arwel Ellis Owen, Chair of Care Council for Wales; Gwenda Thomas AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services; John Moore, Project Lead for My Home Life Cymru: David Francis, Deputy Chief Inspector, CSSIW, and Ruth Marks, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales