A set of speech bubbles each containing a single word. Words shown are: self-esteem, choice, dignity, care, control, privacy, respect and support. Below them is the title 'Dignity and respect is the heart of care'

Demonstrate the importance of ensuring individuals are treated with dignity and respect when providing health and care services

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

As a provider of health and care services, you have a responsibility to ensure that the individuals that you care for are treated with dignity and respect.

Care environments and workers have the power to either promote or undermine people’s dignity and rights. The table below gives some examples:

Promoting dignity and rightsUndermining dignity and rights
Encouraging an individual to collaborate on their care planWriting an individual's care plan without even speaking to the individual
Asking for consent before performing personal carePerforming personal care without first obtaining consent
Encouraging an individual to participate in meetings with other professionals so that their voice is heardSpeaking to other professionals about an individual and answering on their behalf without good reasons
Asking what time an individual plans to go to bedTelling an individual what time they should go to bed

Creating and maintaining a culture of dignity and respect in a care setting is important because it builds bonds of trust and keeps an open dialogue between individuals and their care staff. They will have a big say in how their care is delivered and understand that they have the right to complain if they are unhappy. This leads to higher self-esteem, self-confidence and independence which means they will be much less vulnerable to abuse and much more likely to speak up if they feel they have been abused. Also, by having more independence they have less reliance on others that could potentially abuse them.

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