Hospice appoints first ever Dignity Champion at Dignity Action Day event

News Shopper: From left to right: Director of Care Services Penny Jones, Dignity Champion Mary Davis, Hospice CEO Kate Heaps and Specialist Practice Development Nurse Manager Maaike Vandeweghe From left to right: Director of Care Services Penny Jones, Dignity Champion Mary Davis, Hospice CEO Kate Heaps and Specialist Practice Development Nurse Manager Maaike Vandeweghe

To mark Dignity in Action Day on Wednesday, February 1, Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice in Abbey Wood, South-East London held a staff training session on Dignity during a national day of action to promote Dignity in Care.

The one-hour session, led by Specialist Practice Development Nurse Manager Maaike Vandeweghe, began with the screening of a powerful short film which follows a day in the life of an elderly stroke victim.

There were discussions and quizzes around the theme of Dignity and person-centred care, practical exercises around the theme of what Dignity meant to the group, and concluded with the appointment of the Hospice’s first ever Dignity Champion, Mary Davis.

Mary started working at Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice in June 2011 as a Healthcare Assistant with the Greenwich Care Partnership (GCP) -a new integrated 24 hour End of Life Care Service for Greenwich - and says working at the Hospice ‘is one of the best jobs she’s ever had’.

She has over 26 years experience working in the care profession and believes that everyone has the right to be treated with respect, saying ‘it’s the small things that can make a difference’.

“Mary was chosen as Dignity Champion because she showed great passion and commitment to her role as a carer and has also showed tremendous enthusiasm and thought about what dignity means in practice,” said Penny Jones, Director of Care Services at Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice. “Dignity Champions promote the concept that being treated with dignity is a basic human right, not an optional extra. Here at Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice we believe that everyone has the right to have high quality individual care and be treated with respect and dignity. The promotion of dignity in care is fundamental to the work that we do here at the Hospice.”

Dignity Action Day is a national awareness day led by the Dignity in Care Campaign. The campaign aims to stimulate a national debate around dignity in care.

FOR MORE INFORMATION about Dignity Action Day, the Greenwich Care Partnership (GCP) and about the work of Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice, visit the websites: www.dignityincare.org.uk www.communityhospice.org.uk/greenwich-care-partnership www.communityhospice.org.uk

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