A Dignified Revolution (ADR) was established in January 2008 by four people (Judith Allen, Monica Dennis, Lorraine Morgan and Alby Pearce), who wanted to improve the care of older people in hospital. The impetus to establish the initiative was driven by the:
distress that these individuals experienced when their relatives were receiving hospital care, and their concern that others might find themselves in the same situation. If health professionals feel powerless in a system that is familiar to them what must it be like for those who are not familiar with it
realisation that the lack of dignity and respect that older people tolerate when in hospital is not a recent phenomenon. The issue first came to the public attention in 1990 when Graham Pink, a senior nurse at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport spoke out about the inappropriate care that vulnerable older people were receiving. Nearly 20 years on however, despite extensive media attention and numerous campaigns, policy imperatives, reports and guidance, little appears to have changed
fact that many of those reporting distressing experiences were health professionals themselves, working in the NHS, and apparently unable to influence practice
A Dignified Revolution is focused on:
Many nurses provide outstanding care. However, the attitude and behaviour of some nurses when caring for vulnerable older people does not reflect the duty of care that they have towards their patients. The experience of many of those involved in A Dignified Revolution is that some nurses do not consider that basic nursing care is part of their role. Instead, they consider it is the role of the healthcare assistant.
A Dignified Revolution is calling on the NHS to:
The deep-rooted and negative attitudes of professionals must change. Older people are the core users of NHS hospitals. Those aged over 65 account for around 60% of admissions and 70% of bed days in general hospitals. By 2025, the number of people over the age of 65 will have increased by 50% and the number over 80 by 80%, with corresponding increases in physical impairment, dependency or multiple long term conditions.
We would all do well to reflect on the Bombay Hospital motto that has been adapted from a quotation made by Mahatma Gandhi. It reminds us that:
A patient is the most important person in our hospital. He is not an interruption to our work; he is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our hospital; he is a part of it. We are not doing a favour by serving him; he is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so
Does your local hospital pass the Gandhi challenge?
If you would like more information about A Dignified Revolution, or would like to join the mailing list to receive a regular monthly news bulletin contact Monica Dennis
Tel: 07811 159800