After studying numerous past cases of negligence about elderly care, three major bodies – Age UK, the NHS Confederation and the Local Government Association have together commissioned a report containing recommendations to improve standards in hospitals and aged care homes in England.
The report by Commission on Improving Dignity in Care for Older People says too many elderly people were currently being “let down”. The 48 draft recommendations published by the panel urges the hospitals and aged care homes to hire staff after scrutinising their compassion for older people along with their credentials.
In addition, the report warned nurses and carers would lose their jobs if heard using patronising terms such as ‘ old dear’ to address elderly patients. It report asked universities and professional bodies to take in account both the academic qualifications and the compassionate values of the applicants before qualifying them to provide dignified care.
Sir Keith Pearson, co-chairman of the commission, said “There are pockets within the NHS and the care home sector where we are seeing excellent care. But you can go to hospitals…and you can see a couple of wards where dignity has broken down.”
Addressing the people considering a career in nursing, he said people aiming to be nurses and carers before opting for the career should understand that elderly people make for 60 per cent of patients in hospitals and they have to be able to show compassion and kindness to them.
Sir Keith cleared that those health workers, who will fail in meeting new standard, will lose their jobs. The commission is due to publish its final report by the end of June, after this draft report undergoes consultation.