In 2012, NHS England launched the Compassionate Care strategy. At the heart of it are the6 C’s, which are the principles that underpin care with dignity and compassion. Whilst laudable, the realities of applying care, compassion, competence, communication, courage, and commitment to moving and handling can be challenging. We believe this is because the realities of meeting the requirements of moving and handling legislation are at odds with the realism of managing the aspirations of individuals who are having to deal with the realities of living with a long -term conditions. Despite these challenges, let’s take a brief look at how incorporating three of the Cs into moving and handling practice can help workers to deliver care with dignity and respect.
For many people living at home with a long-term condition means having to accept care from health and social care workers. Moving and handling legislation often means this care is delivered in a way that the person would not have chosen, yet they accept it as part of the many daily compromises they make to live a life with meaning and purpose. Through compassionate practice, a worker has the opportunity to undertake moving and handling as an aspect of their role that at least attempts to provide dignity and respect at the core of what they do.
It is hard for a worker, or carer, to develop compassion without first gaining the confidence and competence in using moving and handling techniques. This is because competent workers deliver care that is of the highest quality, and in a way that maintains the individual’s dignity. Therefore, employers have a responsibility in ensuring good quality moving and handling training is provided on a regular basis.
Good quality training will ensure workers understand the role of communication in maintaining an individual’s dignity when being moved and handled. When used well, verbal and non-verbal communication is powerful “dignity” tool because it ensures the individuals receives care that makes them feel safe, respected, and in control of the situation.
Workers and practitioners need to remember that whilst moving and handling is part of their everyday job, for the people they care and work with, it is part of their everyday life they did not choose nor wanted. By “doing” moving and handling techniques in a way that embraces component of the 6 “Cs” we can go a long way in ensuring that we are at least attempting to deliver care in a dignified and respectful way.
Mangar will be at the Care Show on the 3rd and 4th November, demonstrating the Camel and ELK lifting cushions. The cushions are designed to maintain the dignity of a person who has fallen during a lift.
England, N. (2015) NHS England » compassion in practice – our culture of compassionate care. Available at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/nursingvision/compassion/ (Accessed: 30 October 2015).