Wednesday 20 February 2013

A Question of Dignity

At Monday's Cabinet meeting I spoke on the Developments in Adult Social Care report.

First I commended the Conservative-led government for being the first to bring in a cap to the amount any individual will have to pay towards their residential care.  The limit of £75,000 will help many, many individuals and families here in Reading as well as across the country, by preventing them from having to sell off their own home to pay for their residential care when they are most vulnerable.

The announcement of the cap, made earlier this month, can be read here.

Then I moved on to speak about the Dignity in Care launch event, which my colleague Cllr Jane Stanford-Beale and I attended on 22 January.
click on the above to enlarge

Organisations signed up to the Dignity Charter [see right - click to enlarge].  As you can see, it highlights common-sense but ever so important ways for professionals to treat the town's frail and vulnerable with the dignity they deserve.  [The Dignity Charter is in line with the government's Think Local Act Personal vision].

At Cabinet I said that it would do no harm for this to be extended to include treating everybody with dignity and respect!  I alluded that in just the last few weeks some Labour councillors have written disparaging remarks about officers: I commented that this is unprofessional and disrespectful, especially bearing in mind officers are in a very difficult position to answer back.

I expressed my hope to the Chair that she would agree her administration needs to set an example fit for all to follow.  Sadly, she didn't.

I was very disappointed with her and her Cabinet colleagues' reaction as it undermines the important work officers like Suzanne Westhead and her team have been putting in to improving care, raising awareness and getting service providers to demonstrate their genuine commitment to delivering a high standard of care with dignity at the heart of their respective services.

More details about Dignity in Care are on RBC's website here including a resource pack, monitoring procedures and training.

Peter Henley, BBC Political Editor South of England, was at the launch event and wrote this.