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Dignity - we will treat you with dignity, respect and compassion

Professor Paul Gilbert OBE
Professor Paul Gilbert OBE

'Always treated with respect. Never felt rushed.' Patient

The Trust takes the dignity and privacy of people who use our services very seriously and has a programme of initiatives, including Dignity Champions, to promote and support dignity and privacy.

This standard includes:

  • Showing our commitment to the people who use our services;
  • Showing compassion in the way we provide services;
  • Responding to individuals in a courteous, sensitive and caring way;
  • Behaving in a way we would expect to be treated ourselves;
  • Showing people respect, and treating them with dignity;
  • Treating people as individuals with individual needs; and
  • Involving people in decisions about their own care.

“You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, in accordance with your human rights.” NHS Constitution

 'I like the fact that I am given the time to get well' Service User

Staff - Nurse

Our Dignity in Care Pledge is:

Whilst in the care of Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, you can expect to be:

  1. Shown respect and treated with dignity
  2. Treated as an individual and offered personalised services
  3. Supported maintaining the maximum possible level of independence, choice and control
  4. Listened to and supported in expressing your needs and wants
  5. Respected in your right to privacy and confidentiality
  6. Fully involved in planning your care, with family members/carers as care partners
  7. Assisted to maintain confidence and positive self-esteem
  8. Helped in alleviating loneliness and isolation
  9. Able to complain without fear of retribution
  10. Free from any experience of abuse.


Dignity Champions are willing to:

  • stand up and challenge disrespectful behavior rather than just tolerate it;
  • act as good role models by treating other people with respect, particularly those who are less able to stand up for themselves;
  • speak up about Dignity to improve the way that services are organised and delivered;
  • influence and inform colleagues; and
  • listen to and understand the views and experiences of citizens.


See the Trust Website for more information

Find out more about Dignity and REGARDS

Dignity Library at the Kings Fund

Find out about Dignity Action Day on 1st February

The Dignity Action challenge describes values and actions that high quality services that respect people's dignity should embody:

  1. Have a zero tolerance of all forms of abuse
  2. Support people with the same respect you would want for yourself or a member of your family
  3. Treat each person as an individual by offering a personalised service
  4. Enable people to maintain the maximum possible level of independence, choice and control
  5. Listen and support people to express their needs and wants
  6. Respect people's right to privacy
  7. Ensure people feel able to complain without fear of retribution
  8. Engage with family members and carers as care partners
  9. Assist people to maintain confidence and a positive self-esteem
  10. Act to alleviate people's loneliness and isolation
Compassion 2
'The nurses who visited me were excellent. The Care given was compassionate and professional' Service User 2013

'Genuine compassion must be based on respect for the other, and on the realisation that others have the right to be happy and overcome suffering just as much as you.’ Dalai Lama

What is Compassion Focused Therapy?

The Trust provides Compassion-focussed therapy, and has developed a Research and Development Centre that includes a Centre for Compassion as one of it's main themes. 

  • Compassion Focused Therapy has now developed to the point where it can be identified as a specific kind of psychological therapy with a growing evidence base. 
  • Compassion is a complex concept, especially when used clinically, and draws on scientific research, psychology and neurophysiology.  
  • Compassion is linked to the affiliative emotions and motivational systems, which underpin experiences of well-being, and can help counter-act feelings of threat, shame and self-criticism.

The Compassionate Mind Foundation aims to promote wellbeing through the scientific understanding and application of compassion.

Compassion in Healthcare

‘Compassion in Healthcare’ from the NHS Confederation looks at the implications for the NHS

‘Care and Compassion?’: Report by the NHS Ombudsman

‘Seeing the Person in the Patient’ published by the Kings Fund looks at how we can ensure that patients in hospital are treated with respect and compassion.

Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care

Compassion in practice implementation plans from NHS England 

"I like having separate female only lounge."

Every patient has the right to receive high quality care that is safe, effective and respects their privacy and dignity. We are committed to providing every patient with same-sex accommodation, because it helps to safeguard their privacy and dignity when they are often at their most vulnerable.

Patients who are admitted to any of our hospitals will only share the room where they sleep with members of the same sex, and same sex toilets and bathrooms will be close to their bed area.  Sharing with members of the opposite sex will only happen by exception based on clinical need (for example where patients need specialist equipment such as in Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) or when patients choose to share (for instance in Day Hospitals.)

We are proud to confirm that mixed-sex accommodation has been virtually eliminated in our Trust. See our full Declaration of Compliance.

What does this mean for patients?

Other than in the circumstances set out above, patients admitted to Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust can expect to find the following:

Same-sex accommodation means:

  • The room where your bed is will only have patients of the same sex as you
  • Your toilet and bathroom will be just for your gender, and will be close to your bed area.


It is possible that there will be both men and women patients on the ward, but they will not share sleeping areas. Patents may have to cross a ward corridor to reach their bathroom, but will not have to walk through opposite-sex areas.

Communal spaces may be shared, such as day rooms or dining rooms.

It is possible that visitors of the opposite gender will go into the bedrooms, and this may include patients visiting each other.

It is almost certain that both male and female nurses, doctors and other staff will go into the bedroom area.

If help is needed to use the toilet or take a bath (ega hoist or special bath is required) then patients may be taken to a “unisex” bathroom used by both men and women, but a member of staff will always accompany, and other patients will not be in the bathroom at the same time.

For more information see the Trust website

If you require any information about our policies please contact:

Freedom of Information
Ashbourne Centre
Kingsway Site
Derby DE22 3LZ
or email:

Care Quality Commission Essential Standards for Quality and Safety 

The Dignity in Care Campaign aims to put dignity and respect at the heart of care services. The campaign is about winning hearts and minds, changing the culture of care services and placing a greater emphasis on improving the quality of care and the experience of citizens using services including NHS hospitals, community services, care homes and home support services. It includes action to:

  • Raise awareness of dignity in care;

  • Inspire local people to take action;

  • Share good practice and give impetus to positive innovation;

  • Transform services by supporting people and organisations in providing dignified services;

  • Reward and recognise those people who make a difference and go that extra mile


Delivering Dignity: Securing dignity in care for older people in hospitals and care homes

The Quality of Health Principles from Changing our Lives, an organisation that works for people with disabilities 

Dignified Revolution - ensuring that older people are cared for with dignity and respect

Commission on improving dignity in care

Weaving the words of dementia patients into poetry - Susanna Howard

Saturdays Poem - Kate Swaffer on Dementia and Dignity