29/02/2012

'Dignity In Care' Report Published

A new report commissioned to look at the treatment and care of the elderly has said that ‘fundamental changes’ are needed right across the board.

Some of the 48 draft recommendations include compassion being as important as qualifications, making dignity a priority at a board level and ensuring the use of patronising language is stopped.

Set up by Age UK, the NHS Corporation and the Local Government Association, the review was called for after a number of critical reports in the care of the elderly.

The report said language which denigrates older people should be as unacceptable as racist or sexist terms, with terms such as “old dear” no longer acceptable. It also said that ward sisters should be given the authority to take action if standards slip.

Sir Keith Pearson, one of the reports authors, has said that dignity was "the essence of proper nursing".

He went on, "We want this report to be a call to arms to the whole health and social care system. We need to work together to earn back public confidence."

The recommendations cover all aspects of elderly care and calls for "fundamental changes to culture, leadership, management, staff development, clinical practice and service delivery".

The draft report, Commission on Dignity in Care, will now be open to public consultation ahead of a final version expected in the summer.

(H)

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