Privacy & Dignity Policy

Policy Statement

Rushymead believes that every resident has the right to live their life with privacy, dignity, independence and choice. The home will work in collaboration with all legal and caring agencies to uphold these rights.

Aim of the Policy

This policy is intended to set out the values, principles and policies underpinning this home’s approach to privacy and dignity. The home believes that privacy is an absolute right of every resident and is an integral factor in the preservation of each individual’s personal dignity.

Our approach ensures compliance with the Care Quality Commission’s guidance.

Privacy Policy

All residents of this care service should:

  • be offered private, single accommodation furnished, decorated and equipped to a high standard which they may use and enjoy as and when they wish
  • be allowed to bring their own items of furniture, if they so desire, to add their own touches to their rooms
  • have any valuables they choose to bring, stored away safely & securely
  • be able to entertain guests in private in their accommodation as they wish
  • be entitled to expect confidentiality in all matters and for their permission to be obtained whenever private information needs to be made available to others (excepting that information necessary to staff to provide proper care).

Dignity Policy

All residents should:

  • be treated with dignity in the way in which the staff deal with dressings, bathing, feeding, incontinence and all other needs
  • be addressed in the manner that they choose
  • be respected for their individuality, their views and the way in which they are accustomed to conduct their lives
  • be consulted on any matter or activity, which may impinge upon their life within the home in any way, and to have their wishes respected
  • retain all the rights enjoyed by individuals remaining in their own homes within the community
  • be entitled to have their own culture, religious practices and beliefs observed and respected at all times.


Staff should remember the following:

  1. Always treat residents with sensitivity, respect and thoughtfulness.
  2. Always knock before entering a resident’s accommodation.
  3. Always address residents by the title or name that they prefer.
  4. Always treat residents as individuals.
  5. Allow residents to do things for themselves whenever appropriate.
  6. Never gossip about residents.
  7. Never discuss private or personal issues with a resident in public.
  8. Avoid the use of patronising or insulting language.
  9. Give appropriate room and space to residents.
  10. Always treat residents in a dignified and sensitive way when performing intimate care tasks.

Preserving Residents’ Dignity

The dignity of residents is closely tied to Regulation 10: Dignity and Respect of the fundamental standards.

Dignity is clearly closely linked to privacy. Respecting dignity involves recognising the intrinsic value of people as individuals, their unique qualities and their specific needs and contributions. 

Having a disability and needing help can easily undermine dignity. So does a hierarchical division between staff and residents if it is allowed to develop. Staff provide services, take major decisions and can come and go at will; residents have to accept what is given, are disempowered by their disabilities and remain largely within the single building in which they live. 

The loss of dignity will make a person feel less than human.

It is important therefore to ensure that staff respect and promote their residents’ dignity in every way possible. Help with personal tasks should be given tactfully. 

Residents should be supported to wear their own clothes, use their own equipment and health aids, and have access to their own possessions. Staff should use each resident’s preferred style of address.

The 10 Tests of Dignity in Care

Managers should be able to meet the 10 “tests” of the Dignity in Care Campaign, 

which have been developed in a practice guide produced by the 

Social Care Institute for Excellence.

  • Does the care home have a “zero tolerance” policy in respect of all forms of abuse?
  • Are staff expected to treat residents with the same respect they would want for themselves or members of their family?
  • Is every resident treated as an individual?
  • Are residents given all the help they need to maintain as much independence, choice and control as possible?
  • Do staff listen and support residents to express their needs and wants?
  • Do staff respect residents’ right to privacy?
  • Do residents and their relatives find it easy to make complaints or express their concerns about the standards of care?
  • Does the care home engage with residents and family members as care partners?
  • Do staff help residents to be self-confident and have a positive image of themselves?
  • Do staff help residents to become less lonely and isolated?

Dignity: practical steps

The home & staff can contribute towards safeguarding its residents’ dignity in the following ways.

  • Provide residents who need help with intimate tasks with assistance from a care worker of their choice.
  • Help residents present themselves as they would wish, with access to hairdressing, manicure and make-up.
  • Provide tactful assistance with dressing and choice of clothes, and helping residents to look clean and tidy, if this is necessary and appropriate.
  • Ascertain and use residents’ preferred style of address.
  • Ensure that staff listen and speak to residents in ways that accommodate their disabilities sympathetically.
  • Treat residents at all times in ways that re-enforce their sense of personhood and individuality.
  • Encourage appropriate behaviour in residents whose health conditions or disabilities tend to undermine their capacity for dignified self-presentation.
  • Use appropriate means of looking after severely sick residents with proper regard to their dignity.
  • Be discreet and non-intrusive when cleaning or tidying and always carry these tasks out with people’s agreement.
  • Ensure that the deaths of residents are treated with due propriety.

Promoting Choice 

Prospective residents welcome a choice of the services they receive since not everyone wants the same things. Similarly, many residents like to be able to choose who looks after them, where they spend their time, who are their regular companions, what activities they are involved in, and so on. The lack of choice tends to leads to uniformity and monotony.

Promoting choice: practical steps

The home & staff can contribute towards promoting its residents’ range of choice in the following ways.

  • Enable residents to get up and go to bed and follow their own routines as they wish.
  • As far as possible, assist residents to choose the care workers with whom they have close relationships.
  • Help to access all possible local services and activities so as to provide a diverse social programme.
  • Present residents with as many opportunities as possible for choosing what they eat and drink, when and where they take their meals, and (in care homes) who they sit with and are helped by.
  • Offer a range of locations around the care home and grounds where residents can spend their time.
  • In care homes, encourage residents to bring their own possessions and, as far as practical, furniture into the home to personalise their living space.
  • Provide information on local social facilities and help residents to use them.
  • Encourage their capacity to choose lifestyles that emphasise their sense of personhood and individuality.
  • Involve residents in considering a full range of options when drawing up, reviewing and implementing their care plans.
  • Discourage uniformity, unnecessary rules and standard programmes as far as possible.

Promoting Independence for Residents

Most residents have given up some of their independence by agreeing to be helped with their daily routines and activities. It is vital therefore that residents should be encouraged and assisted to retain their independence in as many areas as possible rather than slipping into complete dependence.

Independence as a principle is very close to autonomy and the two terms are used more or less interchangeably in many contexts. Encouraging independence in residents — by which is usually meant their not becoming dependent on public support — is seen as an important social policy objective.

Promoting independence: practical steps

  • The home & staff can promote independence for its residents in the following ways.
  • Help residents to take responsibility for their own social life and activities.
  • Facilitate the development of relationships between residents where appropriate and encourage residents to broaden their social contacts.
  • Encourage responsible risk-taking when it can enhance experience, rather than avoiding risks at all costs.
  • Involve residents fully in risk assessments.
  • Allow residents if they wish to help with domestic work and share in tasks such as greeting and taking visitors around the home.
  • Encourage residents to come and go from the premises without unnecessary checks or limitations.
  • Make it possible for residents to take increased responsibility for their own healthcare and medication.
  • Promote resident involvement in care planning.
  • Involve residents in the administration of the care service and the review of policies and procedures where appropriate.
  • Seek and use residents’ views about services in quality assurance programmes.

Promoting independence includes healthcare, care planning and day-to-day living, independence — or autonomy —  and is to be thoroughly encouraged.

Improving Quality of Life (Fulfilment)

People who need care and support have often lost their homes, friends, social contacts, financial security and physical and mental abilities. Care services should seek to compensate for these deprivations by being aware of each person’s aspirations and capacities, not simply their basic needs.

Improving quality of life: practical steps

A care service can promote fulfilment in the lifestyle of its residents in the following ways

  • Encourage and enable the person to have a social life.
  • Consult residents individually about their interests and hobbies and provide facilities for them to continue with existing activities and experience new ones.
  • Foster warm relationships.
  • Facilitate participation by residents in social and community activities.
  • Arrange for residents to participate as fully as they wish in religious or spiritual activities.
  • Help residents to celebrate festivals that are meaningful within their own cultures and communities.
  • Respect residents’ wishes relating to the celebration of birthdays and other anniversaries.
  • Encourage visitors with the resident’s permission.
  • Help residents to fulfil any last wishes.
  • Sensitively discuss with residents and informal carers their wishes for what should happen when they die.


All staff must understand and follow the policy on privacy and dignity.

Induction training on privacy and dignity has been developed in line with the Care Certificate standards, particularly Standard 7: Privacy and Dignity

Completed by Jenny Brown

Reviewed & Updated Annually