UK Government

Department of Health: Under embargo: Get involved in Dignity Action Day

Press Release   •   Feb 25, 2010 10:06 GMT

People across the country are being urged to help make a real difference to the lives of older and disabled people, as the first national Dignity Action Day is held today.

Simply treating people with dignity can make a huge difference to the lives of the thousands of people in England who currently receive care and support.   Dignity means receiving personalised care, being treated with respect and being recognised as an individual.

Dignity Action Day celebrates good work around dignity in care and asks everybody – members of the public as well as health and social care staff – to ensure that everyone who receives care is treated with dignity.

There are already more than 14,000 Dignity Champions who are committed to making dignity in care a reality for all. Across the country, care staff and members of the public have organised events such as coffee mornings, entertainment evenings and arts and crafts days for those who receive care, either in residential settings or in the community.

Care Services Minister Phil Hope will today fulfil his Dignity Action Day pledge to visit Oakley Grange in Corby, which provides day services for adults with learning disabilities. He will be helping out with the crafts and games sessions including teaching service users how to juggle.

And it’s not too late for the public to get involved – action on dignity is an ongoing movement, and people can help make a difference by becoming one of thousands of Dignity Champions – people from across the health and care services, as well as members of the public, who are committed to making dignity in care a reality for all.

Care Services Minister Phil Hope said:

“Dignity must be at the heart of care. To achieve this we are transforming the care and support system to make it fairer, simpler and more affordable for everyone.

“The ageing population means more of us will need care and support at some point. We’re asking the public to give a bit of time to make a big difference to the lives of those receiving care by becoming a Dignity Champion.

“The simplest form of dignity doesn’t cost a penny. It’s treating someone with consideration. It’s taking time to get to know them. And it’s speaking to someone with respect.

“If everyone gives this some thought, we really can change things and put dignity at the heart of care for everyone. I want to say a big thank you to everyone who is already getting involved and everyone who made a pledge for Dignity Action Day.”

Notes to editors

Members of the public and health and care workers can support the campaign for dignity in care by signing up to become a Dignity Champion. A Dignity Champion is someone who believes passionately that being treated with dignity is a basic human right, not an optional extra. Already over 14,000 people across the country have signed up to make a difference by becoming a Dignity Champion. To find out more go to or ring Dignity Champions information line on 0207 9724007

A full list of all the pledges made across the country for Dignity Action Day can be viewed by visiting the Dignity Action Day website at

Design for Patient Dignity

Design for Patient Dignity is a groundbreaking programme, where the Department of Health has teamed up with the Design Council as part of the Department's wider programme of work to help improve the experience of patients in hospital. Six top British design and architect teams are now working with the NHS to provide design solutions to a number of privacy and dignity issues that matter the most to patients from improving patient gowns to looking at ways of  making hospital wards more private for patients. Prototypes, will be unveiled on 23 March with the view that some concepts will be introduced into hospitals by early 2011.


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