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Published on 15 March 2011 02:30 PM

Responding to comments today by the Public Services Ombudsman Peter Tyndall that frail and older patients are being failed by a culture of neglect in the NHS, Louise Hughes, Age Cymru’s Elder Abuse Programme Manager says: 

“Neglect is a form of elder abuse.

“Elder abuse in any way, shape or form is unacceptable and it is disgraceful that after years of this being on the agenda of the NHS that people are still being treated this way.

“People have told us that they are concerned about complaining directly because of fear of repercussions, feeling disempowered, not wanting to ‘rock the boat’, or because they don’t understand the complaints procedures in hospitals.

“There needs to be more independent support on the wards through advocacy services so that people are able to make their voices heard, especially those with conditions such as dementia.

“Advocacy redresses power imbalances and puts the older person and their dignity at the centre of making choices about their life.

“Today’s comments - coupled with the publishing of the report from Older People’s Commissioner for Wales yesterday, add up to make the strongest possible case yet for a fundamental culture shift about how we care for and promote the dignity and wellbeing of older people.”

For more information: Call Age Cymru Advice: 08000 223 444