Dignity in care report

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Oxfordshire and Age UK Oxfordshire undertook a project from March 2015 to November 2015 to better understand dignity in health and social care across Oxfordshire. Healthwatch led on a mixed qualitative and quantitative study, designed to find out if national dignity standards, or ‘Dignity Do’s’ were being met across Oxfordshire. The project included questionnaires for patients and staff which were made available online. Volunteers also completed questionnaires with patients in their health or care settings. A total of 161 patients and 57 staff responded. For the qualitative stage, six focus groups were conducted and 10 case studies of experiences were received to bring a depth of understanding to the project. Age UK led on promoting and developing the Dignity in Care Awards to highlight areas of good practice across the county. They sought nominations and assembled a panel of patients and lay people to make the awards (see Appendix 2). The findings of the Healthwatch project were mixed. The majority of people in Oxfordshire who completed our survey reported that they have received services with dignity. However, the experiences reported by people who need communication assistance or have dementia, for example, were not always dignified, and in a small number of cases were shocking. The case studies and focus groups revealed details of how things can go wrong and tell powerful stories about the impact on individuals of receiving care that does not meet dignity standards. The staff survey findings show a workforce that believes strongly in the importance of delivering dignity, but which is feeling that workforce pressures are making it difficult to deliver. Age UK received so many nominations of excellent examples of care, that we have increased the number of awards being made to celebrate when and where we get care right for local people in Oxfordshire. Full details of the Dignity in Care Awards being made as part of this project can be found in Appendix 2. The main body of this report presents and analyses only the data gathered by Healthwatch Oxfordshire for this project. This analysis should be considered alongside the other data on dignity which commissioners and providers regularly collect. For example, each February Oxfordshire County Council takes part in a national survey of people who use adult social care. In 2015, 513 people responded to the survey in Oxfordshire and 90% said they were satisfied with services with 5% expressing dissatisfaction and 5% expressing no view. Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust takes part in the National Inpatient Survey. The 2014 survey had a response rate of 53% and 86% of respondents said they were always treated with dignity and respect, a further 12% said sometimes. 87% rated their care 7/10 or above. Oxfordshire CCG uses extensive survey data, including the national patient survey programme and the friends and family test to assure themselves that the majority of patients in Oxfordshire have a very good experience of healthcare. In addition to participating in national surveys, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust surveys the patients and service users of all its services at least once a year. Its internal surveys include four trust-wide questions which are then reported to the Trust Board. These are reported by Directorate with the Older People’s Directorate being most positive with 85% of patients being involved as much as they would like in their care and having trust and confidence in their service or clinician. For the Adult Services Directorate, these figures vary more from month to month but in September were about 50%. In the Children and Young People’s Directorate, about 50% were involved as much as they wished in their care and 80% had had trust and confidence in their service or clinician.

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General details

Report title 
Dignity in care report
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Oxfordshire
Date of publication 
Sunday, 1 November, 2015
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 1 November, 2015
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 1 November, 2015
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Quality of care
Quality of staffing
Quality of treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Age UK Oxfordshire
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Acute services with overnight beds
Acute services without overnight beds / listed acute services with or without overnight beds
Care of the elderly
Social care services 
Adult social care
Community services 
Community healthcare and nursing services

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.