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The NHS is failing to treat elderly patients with dignity and respect

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The NHS is failing to treat elderly patients in England with care, dignity and respect, an official report says.

Read the BBC article on the Health Service Ombudsman conclusions.

John Pollitt, Medical Negligence partner at Pearson Hinchliffe Solicitors, commented:

“This report, based on practise in NHS institutions in England, describes poor standards of nursing care for the elderly. It chimes with our own experience. All too often we hear stories of elderly patients being inadequately fed and hydrated developing avoidable bed sores and contracting infection due to poor standards of hygiene. It would be disingenuous to suggest that this is a resource problem.  More likely it is a cultural/attitudinal problem and it is tempting to conclude that this superficially unattractive area of nursing fails to attract the best candidates. 

"It is our experience that elderly patients are particularly at risk of being disenfranchised from the legal process partly because they may lack the wherewithal or energy to fight a legal battle but also because of the increasing scarcity of public funding to cover their legal costs.

At Pearson Hinchliffe we believe that quality of care provided to the most vulnerable members of our society is a measure of the very health of our society. We hope that the government will recognise the importance of the Health Ombudsman’s message.”

John Pollitt can be contacted using the details provided below.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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