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Dignity in Care Event (PDSN) - 22 February 2016

The Physical Disability & Sensory Needs Network (PDSN) held the ‘Dignity in Care’ event on Monday 22 February at the Civic Offices, Reading.  The event was attended by 20 service users and members of voluntary sector organisations.

The event was set up in response to concerns about the quality and timeliness of care people receive from care agencies and was an opportunity for people to learn what Dignity in Care means and what the Council is doing to make sure that people receive the best care they deserve.

In the absence of the Chair of the PDSN Network, Simone Illger, Piyush Bharania chaired the event and was assisted by BSL interpreters to communicate with the audience.

Rebecca Norris from Healthwatch was the first on the agenda with the topic ‘Home care: what service users say’.  The presentation covered the work Healthwatch did in partnership with Reading Borough Council during 2012-2013 in finding out the views of service users and their carers about home care services.  The findings from the survey confirmed that home care is a vital service and identified 6 key areas for improvement.  Healthwatch is continuing to work closely with service users, their carers and care agencies to improve the experience of using home care.  For questions about the presentation or to request a copy, please email

Healthwatch Reading can be contacted on: 0118 937 2295 / Email: / Website:

Address: Healthwatch Reading, 3rd Floor, Reading Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading, RG1 3BQ

Ifty Ahmed from the Commissioning Team at Reading Borough Council followed on with a presentation about the ‘Home Care Framework’ and the ‘Unison Ethical Care Charter’.  Ifty explained that the Home Care Framework comprises of 12 preferred providers who were selected thorough quality checks after a tendering process.  The Ethical Care Charter sets minimum expectations for home care agencies to look after their care staff and to improve the quality for their service users. The Council signed the Ethical Care Charter in 2014.

For further details on the Ethical Care Charter, please visit:

Jennifer Simnett then went on to explain the work done by the Quality Monitoring Team at Reading Borough Council and what the Reading’s Dignity in Care Charter is. Organisations that are CQC registered and that are based within Reading Borough with a contract with the Council can choose to sign up to the Charter, which and comprises of 12 key commitments. The Council monitors providers’ adherence to these commitments through a self-assessment framework which our Quality Officers validate.  To acknowledge that a provider is meeting the Charter’s objectives, the dignity in care logo is shown next to their listing on our online provider lists and in our Directory of Services. Providers also receive a certificate which can be displayed on their premises. Please follow the link ‘Dignity in Care Charter’ to find out what the 12 Dignity in Care objectives are.

Jennifer and members of the Quality Monitoring Team facilitated an interactive session with those in attendance, in the form of a board game.  The aim of the game is to identify what Dignity in Care should look like and what needs to be put in place to meet the requirements and was developed as a resource for care providers.  The game session proved an added opportunity for people to give their views and ask questions.

Peter Dawson from the Public Health team at Reading Borough Council gave a presentation on the ‘Reading Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)’ ( and the work being done to refresh the information on a new ‘look and feel’ website.  The Reading JSNA is the local fingerprint that helps us understand the key issues in improving the health and wellbeing of the Reading population.  The presentation highlighted the areas covered by the JSNA (such as data on Life Expectancy, Smoking, Obesity, Physical Activity, Mental Health….) including details and profiles of the population at Ward level.  Let us know how this tool can be improved and what data/information can be added to complement it.  Contact the Public Health team on 0118 937 3657or at 

Additional information was given to participants on how they could have they say on current consultations:

  • The consultation on the ‘Draft Adult Wellbeing Position Statement’ runs until 15th April 2016.  The online questionnaire can be completed and/or downloaded at:   
  • The draft adult wellbeing position statement is a framework for developing our services to meet our Care Act obligations and so prevent and delay care and support needs across the local population.  Our vision for adult wellbeing ‘is to narrow the wellbeing gaps in Reading so that residents affected by care and support needs can access early help and enjoy healthy and fulfilling lives’. The consultation seeks the views of residents on the 7 key aims identified in the position statement (see the attached presentation for further details)
  • The consultation on the on proposals for the future of library services in Reading runs until 16th May 2016.  Proposals have been drawn up following Phase 1 of the Library Review consultation process, in which 1,792 responses were received, and a thorough assessment of the needs of communities that we serve. To read the full consultation document and have your say on proposals, visit
  •  A short ‘Assistive Technology Survey’ will run until 18th March 2016 to seek people’s views on how beneficial Assistive Technology and Telecare are and what can be done to facilitate access for residents and vulnerable people to this technology (please see attached link to download a copy of the survey).