Quality care for all

Privacy and dignity


“Dignity is concerned with how people feel, think and behave in relation to the worth or value of themselves and others. To treat someone with dignity is to treat them as being of worth, in a way that is respectful of them as valued individuals”.

Our pledge

Our staff will think about 'always' events for dignity in care.

The list below is by no means exhaustive, but highlights key points our staff will do.

  • Always treat those in your care as they wish to be treated – with respect, dignity and courtesy.

  • Always remember nutrition and hydration.

  • Always encourage formal and informal feedback from patients, relatives, carers and advocates, to improve practice.

  • Always challenge poor practice at the time – and learn as a team from the error.

  • Always report poor practice where appropriate – the people in your care have rights and you have professional responsibilities.

The Dignity Challenge (DoH 2007)

Your right to be treated with respect. High quality care services that respect people's dignity should (from the Department of Health’s ten point challenge):

  1. Have a zero tolerance of all forms of abuse

  2. Support people with the same respect you would want for yourself or a member of your family

  3. Treat each person as an individual by offering a personalised service

  4. Enable people to maintain the maximum possible level of independence, choice, and control

  5. Listen and support people to express their needs and wants

  6. Respect people’s right to privacy

  7. Ensure people feel able to complain without fear of retribution

  8. Engage with family members and carers as care partners

  9. Assist people to maintain confidence and a positive self-esteem

  10. Act to alleviate people’s loneliness and isolation.     

For more information, read our same-sex accommodation declaration.

Our top six aims

  1. All staff must take personal responsibility for putting the person receiving care first

  2. Staff will challenge practices they believe are not in the best interests of the people in their care

  3. Managers will recruit staff that have the compassionate values needed to provide dignified care as well as the clinical and technical skills

  4. The leadership role of the ward sister or charge nurse is crucial. They have authority over care standards, dignity and well being on their ward. They play a leading role in coordinating services to provide the most dignified and seamless care for each person

  5. When undertaking assessments staff will take time to understand and record the needs and preferences of patients and their relationships with family, friends and carers

  6. We actively encourage feedback from patients and their families at all times.

Patients and visitors

We expect all patients and or visitors to our hospitals or services to respect the privacy of others at all times. For more information please see our page on what we expect from you.


  • Social Care Institute for  Excellence (SCIE) ‘Practice guide 09: Dignity in care, Published November 2006 (Updated August 2007)’

  • Department of Health. (2001) National Service Framework for Older People

  • Modernisation Agency (April 2003) Essence of Care: Patient Focussed Benchmarking for Healthcare Practitioners

  • Department of Health 2007. Dignity in Care 

  • Reference RCN 2008 Defending Dignity.

Dignity Champions

A Dignity Champion is someone who believes passionately that being treated with dignity is a basic human right, not an optional extra. They believe care services must be compassionate, person centred and efficient. They are willing to do something to achieve this.

Our challenge is to put dignity at the heart of care services. 

Dignity Champions are willing to: 

  • Stand up and challenge disrespectful behaviour rather than tolerate it

  • Act as good role models by treating other people with respect, particularly those who are less able to stand up for themselves

  • Speak up about dignity to improve the way services are organised and delivered

  • Influence and inform colleagues

  • Listen to and understand the views and experiences of citizens.

Become a Dignity Champion today and sign up online at Dignity in care.