Poor Nursing Care Being Tackled

Aims to reduce poor nursing care

15.11.2006

The Care Services Minister, Ian Lewis, has launched a Dignity in Care campaign, which aims to create a care system with zero tolerance of abuse.

Mr Lewis said The generation which built this country has a right to expect excellence in the support and care they receive. By working with those on the frontline, I want to put dignity and respect at the heart of services for older people.

The campaign includes a grant being given to local authorities to improve care homes and the preparation of a Dignity in Care Practice Guide. The Government is also establishing a network of local champions of dignity.

As a law firm which frequently acts on behalf of older people who have been neglected in care homes and hospitals, we welcome the Government's campaign. A lack of proper nursing care can have huge consequences for an elderly person who may be already vulnerable.

Patients can quickly develop pressure sores if appropriate nursing care is not given. The sores sometimes become infected and it can be very difficult to get rid of the infection. We have acted for clients who have had to take the drastic step of having a leg amputated for this reason. This could have been easily avoided if the nursing staff had taken proper care of the patient's pressure areas in the first place.

Some patients feel that they are simply written off by hospital staff, with their problems being put down to dementia. They are given the impression that, because of their age, little is being done to investigate the cause of their ill-health.

Other common problems relate to severe dehydration and malnutrition, which can seriously affect the patient's general health. The campaign seeks to end this problem by introducing a Protected Mealtimes Initiative, requiring non-urgent clinical work to stop at mealtimes.

If you or a relative have suffered because of poor nursing care in a care home or hospital, the solicitors in our medical law team may be able to help. Please telephone on 0370 1500 100 or fill in our make a claim form.