Serious Concerns Over Care Given to Elderly Patients in NHS Hospitals

The Care Quality Commission has raised serious concerns over the treatment of elderly patients in some NHS hospitals in England.

Three hospitals were highlighted as failing to meet the legal standards for giving patients enough food and drink and treating them in a dignified way.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust responsible for the NHS Acute hospitals in Worcester and Redditch was one of the Trusts named. Evidence was given by a member of the medical staff at a Worcestershire Hospital that they were prescribing water simply to ensure that the patients got enough to drink.

The report followed unannounced inspections by the NHS Care Regulator on 100 hospitals. The reports on 12 have so far  been published.

The hospitals must now improve or face action from the Regulator.

The inspection follows months of news stories and radio discussions about the poor  treatment of the elderly in hospital.

It is recognised by those inspecting the hospitals and by many of us who have had loved ones cared for in an NHS hospital that there are many cases where the care given is excellent and the utmost respect is afforded  to the patient however, where there are cases in which an elderly patient, unable to fend for themselves is denied access to the water simply because it is out of reach or inadequate food  because they are unable to feed themselves then action clearly need to be taken.

Further reports will be published over the Summer and it is anticipated that the findings will be published in the Autumn of 2011.

If you have any concerns with regard to treatment and care provided in hospital please contact our Clinical Negligence Department.