Privacy & Dignity: What they mean and how they can be maintained or compromised

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

Privacy and dignity are person-centred values that all care workers should be familiar with when performing their day-to-day practice.

What is privacy?

Privacy is giving people space as and when they need it and respecting personal confidential information about them that you may be privy to.

What is dignity?

Dignity is the respecting and valuing of the individuals that you work with, which can include treating them with care and compassion, respecting their views and wishes and providing personalised care.

How can privacy & dignity be compromised and maintained?

The privacy and dignity of an individual can be compromised if care workers do not value or respect them.

The table below gives several examples of good and bad practice, where the good practice maintains and individual’s dignity and privacy and the bad practice compromises it.

Maintains privacy and dignityCompromises privacy and dignity
Knocking before entering the individual's roomWalking into an individual's room without knocking
Greeting and speaking to an individualIgnoring an individual whilst carrying out your work
Asking for consent before touching an individual to perform personal carePerforming personal care without asking for the individual's consent
Only sharing personal information about an individual on a need-to-know basisTelling an individual's family and friends personal information about them without consent or good reason