No dignity for older patients in Britain hospitals

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London, Sep 27 (UNI) Hospitals across Britain were not treating the older patients with dignity, an official report revealed today.

The Healthcare Commission, in a report said only five out of 23 hospitals complied with the government's core standards for dignity in care for older patients.

Eight hospitals, including Barts and the London NHS trust failed the dignity test and were issued with a formal warning. Another 10 trusts, which were supposed to be among the best in the country, were told to make improvements, the Guardian reported.

Health inspectors will also mount spot checks on NHS hospitals after the findings that hundreds of older people were being treated without dignity or adequate privacy on wards across Britain.

The commission appealed to patients and their relatives to blow the whistle whenever they have concerns about the treatment of older people.

Anna Walker, the chief executive, said ''Where there is evidence that the right care is not being provided, we will use all our powers of assessment and inspection.'' The commission had suspicions about the 23 hospitals after analysing patient surveys and intelligence data.

Many trusts failed to provide single-sex accommodation to older patients. Also, people who had suffered a stroke or had MRSA were placed on mixed-sex wards because staff found it easier to care for them. Unclean toilets without locks were also found by the inspectors and many hospitals did not provide hot meals outside normal hours.

The commission did not identify which hospitals had these shortcomings.

''Older people are human beings, not objects or numbers. It's nearly 10 years since we first exposed the shortcomings in hospital care and dignity for older people, yet we still hear all the time about shocking abuses of dignity.'' Ivan Lewis, the social care minister, said ''Dignity and respect should be at the heart of services for older people. This is why I launched a national dignity campaign and asked the commission to make dignity central to its inspections.'' UNI

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