Policy on Privacy , Dignity and Respect
For the purpose of this policy:
Privacy refers to, “freedom from intrusion and embarrassment and relates to all Information and practice that is personal or sensitive in nature to an individual. Privacy is a key principle, which underpins human dignity, and remains a basic human right and the reasonable expectation of every person.” Human Rights Act, 1998 Dignity, “is concerned with how people feel, think and behave in relation to the worth or value of themselves and others. To treat someone with dignity is to treat them as being of worth, in a way that is respectful of them as valued individuals, being of equal value and worth irrespective of differences such as age, race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, social background, health or marital status, disability, religion or political conviction.”
Recognising and enabling an individual’s right to privacy, dignity and respect are an essential part of best practice and accepted as a right by healthcare users, carers and all healthcare staff. This policy will outline expected standards of practice. This policy was devised to ensure all healthcare users receiving care within our organisation have their rights to privacy, dignity and respect acknowledged. These will be promoted at all times by all staff irrespective of role and purpose and within the resources available. Current equality legislation places the responsibility on the organisation to prevent discrimination and harassment and show how it is ensuring equitable services. Providing care that ensures the dignity of healthcare service users, respects the diversity of the population and the individual needs of these users is how this organisation shows it is meeting its requirements. The privacy, dignity and respect policy clearly relates to the ways in which healthcare users and their carers are to be treated while being cared for by our staff. The scope of the behaviours and values outlined in this policy is by no means to be confined simply to the healthcare users and carers. It is recognised that, as healthcare workers, all staff should display values and behaviours which promote privacy, dignity and respect to each other, and throughout the organisation.
Staff are personally accountable for ensuring that they promote and protect healthcare user’s well-being, Staff should also recognise and prevent any barriers to access and support because of stereotyping, or stigma associated with age, ethnicity, disability, faith, sexual orientation and gender. Cross reference to Disability Equality Duty 2005 Race Equality Duty 2000 Gender Equality Duty 2006 Equality Act 2006.
Staff should ensure that healthcare users feel valued and do not experience any negative or offensive behaviour. Our team should ensure that they are positively promoting equality and diversity. Cross reference to Disability Equality Duty 2005 Race Equality Duty 2000 Gender Equality Duty 2006 Equality Act 2006.
The preferred name which the healthcare user wishes to be known should be determined and recorded.
Staff should be aware of the needs of healthcare users for whom English is not their first language.
Staff should ensure that all healthcare users are able to dress and undress in privacy.
Staff should be aware of healthcare users’ sensitivities with regard to personal contact/touch and personal boundaries. In particular, these issues might arise as a result of gender, culture and ethnicity.
Staff should introduce themselves on initial contact with healthcare users and/or carers, stating their names and roles.
Clear explanation should be given to the healthcare users by the appropriate staff member, before any action or procedure is commenced.
Any written information regarding healthcare users (e.g. patient notes) should be treated with privacy and respect, with high regard to confidentiality.
Healthcare users should always be adequately dressed or covered prior to leaving the clinical area for any reason, so that their privacy, dignity and respect are maintained.
Staff should ensure that they are aware of the communication needs of healthcare users and are able to ensure that any communication is understood by the healthcare user
Where formal translation services are required, the organisation has a legal responsibility to provide interpretation where required or requested by the healthcare user. Professional interpreters should be used at all times.