A “bright ideas grant” to help support innovative projects that promote dignity in care has been launched by the Sir Michael Parkinson.
NHS staff will have until 18 March to post ideas online at dh.gov.uk/big and bid for £10,000 of the total £50,000 fund.
The Department of Health grant - along with a 25 February “day of action” on dignity - was announced by health secretary Andy Burnham at the launch of a report from national dignity ambassador Sir Michael Parkinson.
In the report, Sir Michael, who has spent the last year as ambassador for the government’s Dignity in Care campaign, said he wanted to encourage “an open public debate about the way we treat older people”.
He said: “I gained first-hand experience of the NHS and care services during my mother’s illness with dementia.
“It struck me that whilst there are some excellent examples of care, where people are given the dignity and respect they need and deserve, much more needs to be done.”
He said providing dignity does not need to cost anything, and can include “small considerations like taking time to have a chat when you take people to the loo, or using their name rather than a generic term of endearment”.
Sir Michael went on: “We need to banish outdated attitudes and assumptions that can be a barrier to good quality care.
“Becoming national dignity ambassador has strengthened my belief that dignity in care needs to be everybody’s business.
“It’s not just about the government, or nurses or carers. We can all make a difference and I hope that my work will highlight this and inspire many more people to get involved and make this a reality.”
Health secretary Andy Burnham added: “Sir Michael’s report is an invaluable insight into the experiences of people who rely on support and those who dedicate their lives to helping others.”