CQC Reports ‘Highlight Shocking Concerns Over Elderly Care’

Expert Worried Over Patient Safety Impact

26.05.2011

The shocking results of Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports into standards of care offered to elderly people at NHS hospitals have highlighted that action is urgently needed if patient safety is to be guaranteed, a specialist at Irwin Mitchell has warned.

New reports from an inspection programme of 100 hospitals across England have already identified that Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust and Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust are failing to meet legal requirements.

In addition, recurring problems seen at the hospitals assessed included people not being given assistance when struggling to eat, no monitoring of nutritional needs and patients also being left without fluids for long periods of time.

Clinical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell represent the families of a number of elderly people who have suffered as a result of safety failings at hospitals and care homes across the UK, helping them secure justice and attempting to achieve reassurances that lessons have been learned from the incidents.

Ian Christian, a Partner and medical law specialist at the firm’s London office, said: “The safety of patients of all ages should always be a priority for the NHS, but these incredibly shocking reports, together with the cases that we are dealing with, show that there is urgent work needed to improve standards.

“To see that some hospitals are actually failing to meet their legal requirements in relation to looking after elderly patients is absolutely beyond belief – we hope the relevant Trust work quickly to address the problems or face the consequences if they fail to do so.

“Anyone who is treated by health authorities deserves to know that their welfare is a fundamental concern to those caring for them and the extent of these problems raises major question marks over whether this is really the case.

“I hope that the NHS can now begin work to raise standards and ensure all elderly patients get the best possible treatment.”