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Elderly care “not up to standard”


28 August, 2008  

Elderly patients’ rights are not being upheld in hospitals and care homes despite parliamentary calls for a “culture change” in the health service, a charity has claimed.

Age Concern claims that despite last year’s Joint Committee on Human Rights report calling for a renewed focus on elderly care in hospitals, vulnerable people are still not receiving the care they should.

The charity was told of older people being left to sit in their own excrement and being heavily sedated to make them easier to care for.

And a 102-year-old blind woman was missing meals because staff did not tell her they were there. No one offered to help her eat, and many of her meals were removed untouched.

The charity, which publishes the report On the Right Track, has also found examples of people being evicted from care homes after complaining about the standard of care. It is now calling on the Government to “embed human rights in the NHS Constitution”.

Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern, said: “No one should have to go without help with eating and drinking or using the toilet. It’s horrendous that people are still being mistreated and abused.”

A Department of Health spokesman said: “We are doing everything in our power to protect vulnerable older people and ensure they are treated with dignity and respect.”

Copyright PA Business 2008

Age Concern