Sunday, 16 October 2011

Britain is a country where many old men in hospital, as in society in general, receive neither care nor respect

The Care Quality Commission Report on Hospital Care for old people has found that :

* one in five hospitals is breaking the law in its level of neglect of the elderly.

* at least 20 hospitals where care was so poor that patients were denied ‘the basics in life’ – eating, drinking and going to the toilet.

* on some wards, frail patients 'rattle their bed rails or bang on water jugs' to try to attract the attention of staff and on others, nurses ignore doctors’ instructions to put dehydrated patients on drips and abandon them without fluids.

* in 20 National Health Service Trusts, the standard of nursing care was so poor it was 'in breach of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.'

* in many hospitals the elderly were routinely forced to undergo the indignity of using commodes next to their beds because staff were too busy to take them to the toilet.

* at meal times, nursing staff were so preoccupied giving patients medicines they forgot to feed them and trays were cleared away untouched.

Dame Jo Williams, Chairman of the watchdog, urged NHS trusts not to put ‘paperwork over people.' She said :

"Time and time again, we found cases where patients were treated by staff in a way that stripped them of their dignity and respect. People were spoken over, and not spoken to; people were left without call bells, ignored for hours on end, or not given assistance to do the basics of life – to eat, drink, or go to the toilet.’

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said the Charity felt "overwhelmed with these dreadful and deeply depressing inquiries’ into hospital care" and in the last few months the Charity’s helpline had seen " a sudden surge of calls from relatives regarding appalling standards."

Would it be wrong to suggest that attitudes displayed towards old people by staff in hospitals is simply a reflection of attitudes of members of the public towards old people in society in general ?

What a sad country Britain has become.

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