The Patients Association today urged peers to support an amendment to the Social Care bill which would lead to the creation of a Commissioner for older people.
In an article today Baroness Bakewell has proposed that ldquo;the Commissioner be a single, sympathetic individual, able to speak up directly for the old themselves. They would ideally have a background in caring, and be conspicuously on the side of the old, speaking ldquo;for usrdquo; to those with the power and money to do something to improve the situation for millions of older peoplerdquo;.
The Patients Association has a long history of campaigning to ensure that the voice of elderly patients within the Health and Social care system is heard. Last year it launched a report into elderly care in Hospital, which detailed some of the most appalling cases it had heard over its helpline in the last year.
At the same time it launched, in conjunction with the nursing standard, its CARE campaign. This campaign urges hospitals to focus on four fundamentals of care on hospital wards- Communication, Assistance with toileting, Relieving pain and Encouraging nutrition. Already the vast majority of trusts have signed up to this campaign.
Speaking about the proposed amendment Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association said ldquo;The thousands of elderly people that contact our Helpline every year about their concerns in relation to the Health and Social care system are desperate for someone to speak up on their behalf.
A single commissioner with the required experience and stature, who is devoted to raising the concerns that elderly people tell us about, would be a significant step forward. I would urge peers to support this amendment, and if passed, the House of Commons to do the same when the bill comes back before them.rdquo;
Notes for Editors
1. The Patients Association is a campaigning charity, listening to patients and speaking up for change. It has been working for nearly 50 years to make sure that the patient voice is heard and listened to by policy makers.
2. For further information please contact the Patients Association on 02084239111 or on 07779004898 if outside of the hours 9-5.30pm.
3. To see more information on the Patients Association care campaign visit www.patients-association.com
4. To see the original article visit http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/14/need-commissioner-for-older-people
Author: The Patients Association