Care services minister Paul Burstow has called on nurse managers to ensure staff have the “right attitudes” to meet the aspirations of the white paper.
In an exclusive interview with Nursing Times, Mr Burstow said that treating patients with dignity had little to do with staff numbers and was more closely related to the culture on wards.
He said: “It’s not just about creating x number of staff but staff with the right attitudes, empathy and understanding.
Introducing Nursing Times Learning
Subscribers get five FREE learning units and non-subscribers can access each learning unit for £10 + VAT.
Click on the topics below to get started:
“The government can do so much by providing the overall resources. We can’t shape the culture - that has to be led by clinical leaders, by managers and by practitioners themselves being clear what their ethos is and translating that into practice.
“That will be very important in the new white paper direction of travel.”
He was speaking as the Department of Health celebrated the appointment of 22,200 dignity champions, who work to ensure patients have a good experience of health and social care.
These include staff, counsellors, volunteers, service users, carers and members of the public.
Asked why such an approach was necessary, Mr Burstow, a Liberal Democrat, said a culture of “targets and tick boxes” had disempowered frontline staff.
While dignity standards across the country were “variable”, he said there were examples of good practice, many of which were being instigated by nurses.