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"Dignity" benchmarks published

12th December 2005

New care benchmarks have been outlined to encourage best practice within dignity issues for elderly people in Scotland.

Released by NHS Quality Improvement Scotland, the report aims to provide more guidance for staff in terms of looking after and respecting residents and patients.

Under the new benchmarks, nursing staff will have to be trained to take better care of the mouth and teeth of older people, while improved treatment of bedsores is also outlined.

Staff are required to encourage elderly people to remain active while more effort is needed to communicate with those with hearing problems, says the report.

"There has been considerable public concern over what are sometimes called 'dignity issues' in the care of older patients," explained Jan Warner, NHS QIS director of performance assessment and practice development.

"The new guidance lays out best practice and is designed to help nurses deliver the care we would all want to receive in our senior years."

All the proposals have been tested through a pilot study to see how they work in reality and results have indicated that they do provide a "real, sustainable improvement in the care older people receive".