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Caring students given the backing of health board boss

November 19 2013


Health students graduating from Glyndŵr University are leading the way in providing compassionate care.

The Wrexham institution was the first in Wales to introduce the Dignity Pledge in 2012 for pre-registration Nursing students about to embark on a career in healthcare, and reaffirmed that tradition at this year’s graduation ceremony.

At the event, Glyndŵr’s Health Sciences department was joined by Reena Cartmell, Deputy Director of Nursing at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), who read the Dignity Pledge Oath and praised the university for ensuring those entering into the sector had vowed to provide the best care possible for patients and their families.

“Our student nurses are the workforce of the future and it is important that they are involved in making sure that we abide by our pledge,” said Mrs Cartmell.

“The Health Board is committed to ensuring that all of our patients have a dignified experience whilst they are in our care and we have listened to what our patients told us about how we can maintain their dignity. 

“Our Head of Service User Experience, Mrs Dawn Cooper, works closely with our universities, providing education sessions supporting the Dignity Pledge. 

“These are informed by what patients are telling us we did well and what can be improved.”

She added: “Alongside the student nurse training programme, the Health Board runs a Dignity Ambassadors Programme for all Health Board staff. 

“These Dignity Ambassadors act as role models in frontline care and implement small but significant changes in their own areas based on what our patients have told us.”

Developed by BCUHB, the Dignity Pledge aims to ensure that appropriate standards of care are delivered by the students following their graduation from the university.

Improving dignity in health care is an issue at the top of the political agenda, with the introduction of patient-led inspections among Prime Minister David Cameron’s initiatives to improve the quality of NHS care. 

Last year, the Health Board presented their Dignity Pledge to the Chief Nursing Officer for Wales, resulting in existing staff affirming their commitment to the Pledge while all new employees in the sector are now required to take the vow upon appointment.

Through taking the Dignity Pledge, the Department of Health Sciences at Glyndŵr University is hoping graduate nurses will lead the way in providing compassionate care for patients and ensuring that the standards of health care are improved throughout the NHS.

Pam Hope (pictured), Academic Head for the Department of Health Sciences said: “We are delighted to work closely with BCUHB to ensure that all our students receive high quality education that has the promotion of compassionate care as a foundation.

“A number of our academic staff have gained their doctoral qualifications through research that centres on human caring, dignity spirituality and respect and draw on this crucial research to inform their teaching.”

She added: “We have been working with BCUHB for more than a year on this idea and bringing it to fruition as a possible template for Wales.

“This is not because we believe that graduates don’t already deliver compassionate care because we hear many testimonies that they do, but it is similar to the Oath taken by doctors at course completion and seeks to make them aware of the responsibility they will be taking on and the standard they will set for other employees.

“Next year we hope to include this pledge for all health programmes where Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is the employer and we look forward to many more years working with them to produce caring, compassionate and skilled health graduates as an example for Wales.”

For more information visit the Glyndŵr University Open Day on Saturday November 23 from 10am-2pm:



University open day