CCGs must ensure providers offer dignified care for the elderly

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) must ensure providers they commission from offer dignified care for the elderly in order to become authorised, experts have recommended.

Delivering Dignity, an NHS Confederation, Local Government Association and Age UK report, recommends that CCGs should set out the dignity standards they expect for elderly patients when they commission services.

The report recommended that the NHS Commissioning Board (NCB) should take into account a CCG’s plans to secure dignified care for older people when it decides to authorise the CCG.

NHS Confederation chairman Sir Keith Pearson said: ‘I’m not saying it would be the critical decision that would be taken but if we’re going to say that dignity in care is a first order priority we would expect to see CCGs being able to become passionate about that in their submissions to become authorised.’

The report outlines a number of dignity standards for elderly patients that should be met by hospitals and care homes. These included maintaining each patient’s independence, talking to patients in an appropriate manner and identifying their nutritional needs.

It recommended that CCGs should ensure that any providers they commission from regularly report on their progress in meeting the dignity standards. CCGs should satisfy themselves that there are robust measures in place to capture feedback on dignity in hospitals from older patients, their families and carers, the report said.

‘We would expect them to performance manage a hospital around its dignity standards in the same way that it does around all of the other issues that they monitor,’ Sir Keith said.

The NCB will in turn review and comment on the extent to which CCGs are performance managing providers.

The report will now be put out to public consultation, which will run from now until 27 March.

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