Dignity in hospital care

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Summary of report content

Older adults who had been inpatients in the Bristol Royal Infirmary (part of the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston Trust) or at Southmead Hospital (part of North Bristol Trust) between 2020-2022 provided qualitative feedback to help Healthwatch BNSSG understand their perceptions and expectations. They engaged with twenty-four ethnically diverse individuals via older adults' support groups and community organisations across the city.

Healthwatch BNSSG did this through Healthwatch Bristol’s existing networks, social media channels, and those of a wide number of local community and voluntary organisations.

To gather views on Dignity in Hospital Care they conducted telephone, Zoom and face-to-face interviews, and ran a focus group. They heard from hospital staff members via an online survey. Analysis of all participant feedback revealed common perceptions of dignity:

  • Respect
  • Privacy
  • Personalised care
  • Communication between staff and patients
  • Choice
  • Independence
  • Supportive care

The focus group participants highlighted what aspects of communication between staff and patients were most important to them. This included communication about:

  • patients’ diagnosis
  • medical care procedures
  • physical care personal care in hospital
  • not being talked about by staff in earshot of a patient
  • timeliness of communication between staff and patients about what ward they were in and what ward they were being moved to
  • timeliness of communication about hospital discharge
  • communication about aftercare with patients and their families and carers

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General details

Report title 
Dignity in hospital care
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Bristol
Healthwatch North Somerset
Healthwatch South Gloucestershire
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 20 July, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Saturday, 1 January, 2022
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 30 April, 2022
Key themes 
Health inequalities
Holistic support
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Public involvement
Quality of care
Staff attitudes

Methodology and approach

Primary research method used 
Structured interview

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Acute services without overnight beds / listed acute services with or without overnight beds
Inpatient care

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
65-85 years
Asian / Asian British
Black/ African / Caribbean / Black British
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include staff's 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

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.