Calling for your views on the Dignity in Care interim report

This blog was contributed by Dianne Jeffrey CBE DL, Chairman of Age UK and Joint Chair of the Commission on Dignity in Care.

Over the past few years we have seen report after report detailing shocking examples of care in our hospitals and care homes. In 2011 the Health Service

Dianne Jeffrey CBE DL, Chairman of Age UK and Joint Chair of the Commission on Dignity in Care

Ombudsman published its report Care and Compassionwhich told ten heartbreaking real life stories of older people subjected to undignified, degrading and harmful care. But the report was clear these ten accounts were the tip of the iceberg – they were not exceptional or isolated cases. So this begs the question ‘what exactly is going wrong in our hospitals and care homes? And what can be done to put it right?’

A determination to provide at least some of these answers led Age UK to join forces with the NHS Confederation and the Local Government Association to set up the Dignity in Care Commission. Our aim is to draw a line under the past, and focus relentlessly on what can be done in future to ensure each and every older person receives high-quality, dignified care. 

The Commission has now published their interim consultation report. We have heard expert evidence from right across the care system, including older people and their families, nursing, social care, medicine, management and commissioning. We have heard a great deal about the problems in the system and the impact on older people. But we have also heard much that is positive, highlighting where people are working with compassion and dedication to get it right.

This report is not a repetition of well-documented problems. Neither is it a best practice guide, much excellent work already exists and we have no desire to reinvent the wheel. Instead, we have focused on how to tackle the underlying causes of poor care which too often means excellent practice and innovation does not flourish.

We now welcome views from the public, professionals and organisations across the system on the detail of this report. We want to know whether there is anything fundamental that we have missed, or whether we should go any further in the changes we recommend and why. Most importantly, we want to know what we can do to make sure these changes take place. This is not a report intended to sit on our library shelves, we are committed to working collectively to bring these recommendations to life.

Read the interim report and submit your views

Find out more about the launch on the Age UK website

8 thoughts on “Calling for your views on the Dignity in Care interim report”

  1. I am now 85 years old and most of my working life I looked after old people, I finished work when I was 70 as I was getting older than the people I was looking after.
    In my opinion, respect and dignity are most important, I used to cringe when I heard one of the nurses calling a patient Lovey, or duck, and was quick to ask them to call them by their name ie Miss ??? . There used to be a poem going the rounds years ago, something on the lines of….. Who do you see nurse, when you look at me,,, A child, a wife and a mother… They are entitled to respect. Elizabeth Owen

  2. Am opposed to Changes in the NHS afraid elderly disabled and vulnerable people like myself will suffer as we need to be treated with dignity and respect and health care professionals who are empathetic and qualified practical people. Dont believe the private sector can support people like myself, I am not looking forward to the future as my health deteriorates.

  3. I am a retired physiiotherapist and I have not personally come across any poor treatment of the older patient, but I have heard reports of such at second hand.
    In some cases the patient is disturbed and very demanding of the carers’ time and I know this can cause neglect of some of the other patients , only by careful attention of the good carer, who can set an example can this be remedied.

  4. I applaud the fact that Age UK, the LGA and the NHS Confederation have worked together to produce this report, and there is little to disagree with in the many recommendations that you have made. I am not, however, convinced that you have dealt with the root causes of the problems with elderly care which I believe are a direct result of the dramatic growth in the elderly population which has resulted in increased and prolonged levels of chronic illness, including dementia.

    For the past two years, since I retired as Managing Director of the ExtraCare Charitable Trust, I have been writing about this on my Grumblesmiles website. I have discussed in my blog the various critical reports on elderly care and suggested some strategic solutions. Successive Governments have failed to address the demographic issue which adds unbearable pressure to the NHS and consequent failures at all levels.

    I believe nothing short of radical restructuring of health and social care, as well as new methods of funding care, will begin to address the problem. I will forward my views as a response to the consultation.

  5. Would Mrs Jeffrey like to explain why Age UK’s CEO Tom Wright is refusing to comment on my allegations of corruption in Age York’s office and its abuse of my 83 year-old, disabled mother?

    For the story, please google: “The Abuse of Grandma B”

    1. Thank you for your advice. I have already been through Age UK’s official complaints procedure to no avail. I have exchanged over 160 e-mails with officers and trustees of Age UK in the last three years and have provided them with clear evidence amassed by the fraud investigator working on this case showing that Age UK’s officers have been complicit in defrauding my elderly mother of her assets. These are serious, criminal offences, but Age UKs CEO is not prepared to act, neither are its trustees. Fortuanately, we have some good allies and Lord Maginnis of Drumglass has been asking questions in Parliament about this case. Please see:

      York Social Services are not denying these public accusations of corruption and Age UK is not denying its York officers are complicit in these serious criminal offences.

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