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David Cameron Response

David Cameron Response back to list

06 January 2012

Speaking on the news that David Cameron is to introduce new tests on care standards to tackle the "real problem" in hospitals where patients are not treated with respect, the Townswomen's Guilds says the measures are a step in the right direction but don't go far enough.

Pauline Myers, Chairman of the Townswomen's Guilds, one of the UK's largest campaigning women's groups comments:

"Like David Cameron we too are absolutely appalled that many hospitals fail to meet basic standards of care for elderly patients.   Our recent survey into the issue found that nearly three quarters (74.7%) of those questioned said the care they or an elderly relative had received in hospital was less than satisfactory. That's why we have recently launched our 'Hear My Voice' campaign which aims to give older and other more vulnerable patients the respect and dignity they deserve. 

"We fully understand that hospital care is something which involves many individuals. Our concern is that Mr Cameron's measures do not address the overall responsibility for co-ordinating a change in the training and attitudes when it comes to dealing with patients who are elderly, disabled or otherwise require more specialist care and more individual attention than other patients. So, whilst we encourage "leadership on the wards", it needs to be the right kind of leadership, particularly when it comes to the specific care requirements of the elderly. 

"We would therefore strongly urge Mr Cameron to ensure that every hospital has on its staff, or has access to, a consultant geriatrician to oversee the training of staff in the welfare of the elderly, frail or vulnerable patients under their care. The importance of this issue can't be overstated as the current state of affairs amounts to nothing short of abuse.  It's a disgrace and it must stop now."

Townswomen's Guilds' Survey Results

A recent Townswomen's Guilds' survey of UK women revealed that nearly three quarters of those questioned are so worried about the level of care they would expect to receive they would be reluctant about going into hospital in the future.

  • 74.7% of those questioned said the care they or an elderly relative had received in hospital was less than satisfactory
  • Nearly three quarters (69%) said they would be reluctant about going into hospital in the future due to the standard of care they would expect to receive
  • Over half (54%) had been left disappointed about the level of care they or an elderly relative or friend has received whilst in hospital 
  • 45% said that hospital staff did not fully involve them or an elderly relative or friend in their care, for instance by explaining treatment in advance or seeking their consent
  • Nearly half (49%) of those questioned said that they had been spoken down to by hospital staff during their stay in hospital
  • Over a quarter (28%) felt that hospital staff had not provided them with sufficient aftercare
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