Care and Compassion? Report of the Health Service Ombudsman on Ten Investigations into NHS Care of Older People
HC 778, Fourth Report of Session 2010-11
- Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
In this report, 'Care and Compassion? (HC 778)' the Health Service Ombudsman says the National Health Service (NHS) is failing to treat older people with care, compassion, dignity and respect. The report is based on the findings of ten independent investigations into complaints about NHS care for people over the age of 65 across England. It serves to illuminate the gulf between the principles and values of the NHS Constitution and the felt reality of being an older person in the care of the NHS in England.
The Ombudsman's findings show how ten older patients suffered unnecessary pain, indignity and distress while in the care of the NHS.
The investigations highlight common failures in:
communication with patients and their relatives; and
ensuring adequate nutrition.
These are not isolated cases. Of the nearly 9,000 properly made complaints to the Ombudsman about the NHS last year, 18% were about the care of older people. The Ombudsman accepted twice as many cases for investigation about older people as for all other age groups put together.
The findings reveal an attitude - both personal and institutional - which fails to recognise the humanity and individuality of the people concerned and to respond to them with sensitivity, compassion and professionalism. These accounts present a picture of NHS provision that is failing to meet even the most basic standards of care. The NHS must close the gap between the promise of care and compassion outlined in its Constitution and the injustice that many older people experience.
|Format||Paperback||Published||15 Feb 2011|
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