It’s curtains for dignity…
23 February 2015
…and bras, shorts and a dignity barrier to boot. February is National Dignity Month and the hospital is raising awareness of its efforts to improve the patient experience.
Dignity is about treating patients as being of worth, in a way
that is respectful of them as individuals. Dignified care, or the
lack of it, can have a profound effect on patient well-being.
Chair of the hospital's dignity group, Angela Cohen, said:
"Small but important measures that we have brought in at Southend
Hospital really help put patients at ease, make them feel less
vulnerable and anxious. It's an important part of our patient care
and enables us to not just maintain it but to improve it.
"For many, coming into hospital can be a daunting experience and
giving a patient their dignity with a paper bra or a paper pair of
shorts, where previously they would have just been wearing nothing
under their gown, can make a massive difference."
The hospital was one of the first in the country to start using
paper bras, which it has been doing for the last 12 months and
although they won't be winning any fashion awards anytime soon,
they are practical, disposable and have been a massive hit. You
could say that patients think they are 'bra-vellous'.
Angela concluded: "People say to me, 'what price is dignity?'
And I tell them 12p a bra, for patients' and relatives' peace of
The hospital is home to dignity curtains in patient rooms,
dignity bras, dignity shorts and a dignity barrier in main
outpatients that patients on trollies are shielded from view by
coffee drinkers and sandwich eaters.
Find out more about dignity at: http://www.dignityincare.org.uk/
Image: l-r HCA Jackie Hutcheson, chair of the dignity group
Angela Cohen, HCA Elaine McDougall and associate practitioner