NHS 'failing to treat elderly with care and respect'
- Published on Tuesday, 15 February 2011 08:57
- Posted by Scott Buckler
The NHS is failing to treat elderly patients in England with care, dignity and respect, an official report says The Health Service Ombudsman came to the conclusion after carrying out an in-depth review of 10 cases.
The ombudsman, which deals with serious complaints against the NHS, said the patients - aged over 65 - suffered unnecessary pain, neglect and distress.
Charities said the findings were "sickening", while the government admitted improvement was needed.
While the report is only based on 10 cases, the ombudsman said they were far from isolated examples.
Of nearly 9,000 complaints made to the ombudsman last year, 18% were about the care of older people. In total, it accepted 226 cases for investigation - twice as many as for all the other age groups combined.
The report concluded there was a gulf between the principles and values of the NHS and the reality being experienced by older patients.
And the ombudsman, which is called in once a complaint cannot be resolved by individual NHS trusts, said the fact there was an ageing population made it even more essential that the concerns were dealt with.
Several themes became clear from the ombudsman's analysis. Half the people featured did not consume adequate food or water during their time in hospital.
Source: ©BBC News