Elderly need more dignity in hospital

NHS hospitals in England must step up efforts to provide dignity in care to older people, according to a healthcare watchdog report.

Trusts will now also face spot checks where there is evidence of concern.

The Healthcare Commission calls for NHS trusts to do more to ensure they consistently provide dignity in care to older people, including offering adequate nutrition and privacy.

The commission warned of unannounced visits if there were clusters of evidence suggesting a problem at a hospital or on a ward.

The commission has also asked patients, carers, the public and their representatives to come forward to inform the commission where there is a problem.

The commission says that overall it was encouraged by signs that the trusts were generally getting the right systems in place.

The report draws on assessments at 23 NHS hospitals, surveys of 80,000 patients and 130,000 NHS staff, analysis of 10,000 complaints and National Patient Safety Agency information on incidents.

The report also highlighted eight trusts identified as providing dignity in care in line with best practice.

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