Published on 02 December 2013 04:00 PM
Responding to recent figures that showed 1,158 care home residents in Wales and England suffered dehydration-related deaths from 2003 to 2012, Age Cymru’s Policy Advisor Amy Clifton says
“It is horrific to think that older people are dying of thirst in some care homes in this country – clearly care homes that allow this to happen are failing to fulfill their duty of care and urgent action must be taken to address this.
“All care homes should be able to guarantee that patients will get the food and drink they need and any necessary help with consuming it. All care home staff should be trained to recognise malnutrition and dehydration; identify any necessary support with eating, drinking and swallowing; and ensure older people receive appropriate help and support services.
“There is currently ongoing discussion as to whether legislation should include corporate accountability for institutional abuse and neglect. Social care providers have a serious responsibility for the health and well-being of many people but currently have no legal corporate accountability. It has been announced that willful neglect will be made a criminal offence in England and Wales for NHS staff and we believe forthcoming social care legislation such as the Regulation and Inspection (Wales) Bill must address the issue of corporate neglect in social care.”