RCP gives evidence on dignity in care for older people

Dr Linda Patterson, RCP clinical vice president, will give oral evidence to the Commission on improving dignity in care for older people tomorrow between 11.45 am and 12.45 pm at Age UK Headquarters, Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9NA.The Commission is being held by the NHS Confederation, Local Government Group and Age UK. Other witnesses in the same evidence session include Janet Davies, RCN Director of Nursing and Service Delivery and Dr Helena McKeown, BMA Head of Career Doctors and Independent Medical Services.

The RCP believes that:

· All patients, regardless of age, have a right to high quality, holistic care centred round their needs and delivered in an appropriate setting by compassionate, respectful and expert health professionals.

· Doctors have a duty to embed key values of medical professionalism in their day-to-day practice: integrity, compassion, altruism, continuous improvement, excellence and working in partnership with members of the wider healthcare team.

· Clinicians and other professionals should be able to raise instances of poor practice, concerns about patient safety and standards of care without fear of disproportionate retribution.

The service must adapt if we are to meet the challenge of providing holistic care for patients, including older patients, with co-morbidities and complex needs, and the following must be in place if we are to deliver high quality care that meets the needs of older patients:

Adequate staffing numbers, with sufficient time available to care for patients, including those with complex needs (eg dementia, frailty and communication difficulties).
Appropriate education and training so that we have a workforce with the right skills to deal with the current (and future) case mix.
Better continuity of management of patients whilst in acute settings and across providers, with clear lines of accountability and better communication between staff, and improved flows of information across the system.
Improved communication with patients, their relatives and carers and better involvement in decisions about the treatment and care, with care received in appropriate settings. This includes communication on difficult issues such as dementia, dying and disability.

The RCP’s full written evidence is available:

For further information please contact RCP PR Manager Linda Cuthbertson on 020 3075 1254, linda.cuthbertson@rcplondon.ac.uk

Linda Cuthbertson | PR Manager
External Affairs | Royal College of Physicians
11 St Andrews Place | Regent’s Park | London NW1 4LE

Direct line +44 (0)20 3075 1254 | Mobile +44 (0)7748 777919
Email linda.cuthbertson@rcplondon.ac.uk| Fax +44 (0)20 7486 5425

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