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A&Es urged over dignity charter

Hospitals across the UK have been urged to adopt a set of principles that ensure A&E patients are treated with dignity at all times.

The standards will be launched at a special conference for directors of nursing held in London to mark the launch of the Royal College of Nursing’s (RCN) national campaign “Dignity – at the heart of everything we do”.

The principles have been developed by the RCN’s Emergency Care Association with the Patients Association and are being sent to emergency wards across the UK.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN said: “We know nurses desperately want to give patients high quality dignified care, but the busy nature of emergency care means there are times when they are hard-pressed to deliver the kind of care they would like.”

The principles include a guarantee that patients are given a rough estimate of how long they should expect to wait before being seen, that health workers formally introduce themselves and their role, and that all patients are looked after in a clean and safe environment.

Rabina Tindale, Chair of the RCN’s Emergency Care Association said: “The vast majority of nurses do these things as a matter of course but we hope that by signing up to these principles patients will know just how seriously healthcare staff take their dignity.”

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