Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Britain is no country for old men in care homes which provide neither 'care' nor a 'home'

The Care Quality Commission inspected 599 'care homes' for old people between October 2010 and July 2011 and found 84 failed to meet legal nutritional requirements. It found :

* one of the worst cases at Bywater Hall in Leeds, where an underweight patient, who was assessed as being at a high risk of malnutrition and prescribed a high-calorie diet, eating just two pieces of toast in a day.

* in another home run by the same company, a malnourished patient who had lost 10lb in a month and was supposed to be given snacks between meals was denied a biscuit, even when he asked for one.

The disturbing figures come from an analysis by the watchdog the 'Care Quality Commission', whose 'Director of Operations', Amanda Sherlock said :

'The majority of care homes we’ve inspected do comply with the essential standards.
However, our inspectors have also seen providers where meals are simply placed in front of frail, vulnerable people who are least able to complain, with no attempt to help them eat, until their food is cleared away uneaten.'

The facts are that there are 4,600 care homes in Britain with nursing which care for 208,000 old people, many of whom have dementia.

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the 'Patients Association', said:
'We are not talking about complex health needs but about basic human rights to eating, drinking and pain relief, and this most basic care is not being provided in nursing homes. If we were talking about children there would be an outcry but because it is the elderly they are being neglected. Care homes with major concerns should be shut down.'

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