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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Red dignity pegs launching to maintain patients' privacy

Red dignity pegs launching to maintain patients' privacy

Posted on Tuesday 24th January 2012
Red dignity pegs

Gill Long, Productive Ward Co-ordinator

Nurses at north Cumbria’s two hospitals are introducing a new scheme on their wards to protect the privacy and dignity of all patients. North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is launching ‘red dignity pegs’ in conjunction with Dignity Action Day on 1 February.

The red dignity pegs will be used in the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven as part of ongoing work promoting the privacy and dignity of patients. The pegs are intended to maintain patients’ privacy and dignity by ensuring that curtains and screens are closed properly with the use of a red peg. ‘Care in progress’ signs will also be connected to the pegs, both of which will make staff stop and think prior to entering closed curtained areas.

The red pegs will be stored at bedsides and will be cleaned after every use. Patients will be informed of the use of red dignity pegs on admission and posters will be prominently displayed in all patient areas, reminding staff to use the pegs and reminding patients to ask for them to be used.

Gill Long, Productive Ward Co-ordinator, said: “We hope that the introduction of the red dignity pegs will not only ensure the curtains are closed properly, but make staff stop and think about patients dignity before they go through a closed curtain.”

Dignity Action Day gives everyone the opportunity to contribute to upholding people’s rights to dignity. The day aims to ensure people in care are treated as individuals and are given choice, control and a sense of purpose in their daily lives.

Supporting Dignity Action Day will:

  • Raise awareness of the importance of dignity in care
  • Remind society that the dignity of those in your community is not the sole responsibility of health or social care staff – everyone has a role to play
  • Remind the pubic that staff have right to be treated with dignity and respect too

Dignity Action Day asks health and social care workers to take action in their place of work to promote dignity. It also asks for members of the public to do what they can to take action on this day to promote dignity for people in their communities.