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Wednesday 23rd May 2018

Elderly human rights 'abused'

15th August 2007

A hard-hitting report by MPs has found that many hospitals and care homes are failing to protect the human rights of older people in their care.

Old Hands

The Select Committee on Human Rights found that 21% of facilities failed to meet even minimum standards on dignity and privacy and discovered evidence of neglect, abuse, discrimination and unfair treatment of frail older people.

The report said existing legislation was not strong enough to offer older people in care more protection, advocating a culture change in care.

The Department of Health and Ministry of Justice was also criticised over their failures to give leadership and guidance to health and residential care services providers.

Politicians also said the Commission for Equality and Human Rights should monitor the ongoing situation and have a role in ensuring that older people were treated properly. A system to allow complaints to be investigated by an independent third party is also needed, they said.

Committee chairman Andrew Dismore said: “Neglect and ill-treatment of the elderly is a severe abuse of human rights. It is a serious betrayal of trust by the very people upon whom older people depend for care. We must see a complete change of culture in the health and care services.�

The charity Help the Aged, said the report had “lifted the lid on the shameful treatment� of older people by health and care services.

Health Minister Ivan Lewis said the government was embarking on a major programme of change which will seek to address the issues raised in the report.


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