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A Fifth of all Hospitals still Failing the Elderly

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A Care Quality Commission (CQC) report into the care of elderly patients at 100 hospitals nationwide has shown that 1 in 5 is breaking the law.  The damning report goes onto say that 40 out of the 100 were also flagged as having ‘minor to moderate’ concerns about their treatment of some of society’s most vulnerable patients.

Chairman of the CQC, Dame Jo Williams, said that inspectors were far too often witnessing care treated as a chore, rather than with the compassion it should be carried out with.

For example, one inspector witnessed an incontinent patient requesting help with sanitary issues but failing to receive any help.  Even more worryingly, two trusts who had previously been warned over the failure to administer IV fluids were still continuing this poor practice.  In other hospitals full bedpans were left adjacent to food preparation and serving areas.

Inspectors raised grave concerns about two hospitals in particular – the Sandwell Hospital in Great Bromwich and the Alexandra Hospital in Worcestershire.  Here there were major concerns about the care and dignity of the elderly, in particular regarding issues around feeding and drinking.

The CQC report highlighted a variety of factors in which these 40 hospitals were failing to provide adequate care to the elderly.  These include funding, the attitude of staff towards their patients and poor leadership on wards.

Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, has said that the reason for the report is so that poor care issues can be rectified and eliminated.

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