Southampton patients give their views as centre celebrates Dignity Action Day

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Dignity was top of the agenda as patients and visitors at Care UK’s Southampton NHS Treatment Centre celebrated the national Dignity Action Day.

The team at the centre, in Brintons Terrace, Southampton, held a “Digni-Tea” on Tuesday to gain insights into patients’ view of dignity, as well as to welcome a group of young adults from Mencap’s Southampton Own2feet group.

Heather Blackwell, the centre’s clinical services manager, said: “The young people had a great time and gained some insights into what goes on in the centre as well as learning about hygiene.

“They visited the ward, theatre and sterile area and learned how to thoroughly clean their hands, using an ultra violet light to show just where germs and dirt can lurk even when you think hands are clean.”

As well as celebrating dignity, the birthday of one of the group was also celebrated as he cut a special cake donated by the Inpatients team. Heather said: “The units all joined together to celebrate Dignity Action Day. It is a very special day that reminds us all of the importance of respecting others and understanding how they prefer to be consulted, treated and addressed.”

The centre’s patients joined in by giving feedback on the service. Heather said: “We received some very helpful thoughts as well as some lovely compliments from patients about the care they have received. The message is very clear that the team are already working hard to promote dignity, wellbeing and excellent care.”

Hospital director Paula Friend said: ““Maintaining patients’ dignity is a fundamental part of all we do here at the centre. Dignity Action Day gives us a valuable opportunity to think about how we contribute to upholding people's right to dignity and how we can find new ways to increase a patient’s sense of choice, control and their experience of our service.

“High up on the feedback from patients was a wish to be treated in the same way team members would care for their own loved ones. This is something we work towards and it is reflected in our consistently high NHS Friend and Family Recommendations score.

“We are particularly aware of the need to preserve and protect the dignity of the more vulnerable members of our society, which is why we have developed an ongoing series of visits from the Own2feet group.

“We have also previously been audited by Care UK’s head of dementia services, who helped us to ensure the centre’s environment and teams are able to support and bring dignity to the experience of people living with dementia.”

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