Pope Juan Paul II once said "A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members and among the most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying", but is that still the case today?
The Health Service Ombudsman, which deals with only the most serious cases regarding the NHS, has today published it’s in-depth review into cases of the mistreatment of the elderly in care.
This review found that many patients over the age of 65 ‘suffered unnecessary pain, neglect and distress’. Of the ten case reviewed the report found that half of the elderly patients were not given adequate food or drink and even showed cases of patients being refused toilet facilities and being left in soiled clothing for long periods at a time.
One case in particular found that a confused and frightened elderly woman was forcefully discharged after surgery without being given any instructions on how to get home and was even refused access to a phone to call her relatives by a senior NHS nurse.
Many charities based around the elderly care nationwide expressed concern with the findings, Michelle Mitchell of Age UK said “The inhumane treatment of older people described in this report is sickening and should send shockwaves through the NHS and government.”
In response to this Nigel Edwards of the NHS Trust said that although the case were unacceptable, they were also very rare and stated “It is of course important to put these 10 examples in perspective. The NHS sees over a million people every 36 hours and the overwhelming majority say they receive good care”
- Do you know anybody mistreated in hospital?
- Is it fair to expect a few bad cases amongst millions in an underfunded NHS?
- What more can be done to prevent this from re-occurring?
- For those non-British followers, is this a problem in your country?