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Thousands die from thirst in care homes

Published on 02 December 2013 02:00 PM

Over 1,000 people have died in care homes across England and Wales over the last 10 years as a result of dehydration, an investigation by the Daily Telegraph has found.


The newspaper obtained figures from the Office of National Statistics under the Freedom of Information Act that showed some 1,158 care homes residents suffered dehydration-related deaths between 2003 and 2012.

Starvation or severe malnutrition accounted for 318 deaths

Dehydration was given as either the main cause of death or a contributing factor on the resident's death certificate, the Telegraph said.

Starvation or severe malnutrition accounted for 318 deaths in care homes during this period, while bed sores were a factor in 2,815 deaths.

Charities called for better training for care home staff in order to improve resident care.

'It makes you sick to the stomach that you are handing your loved ones over with even the remotest possibility they could starve to death or die of thirst,' said Dr Alison Cook, director of external affairs at the Alzheimer's Society.

Charities called for better training for care home staff

'There is a real need for better training for those who are looking after elderly and vulnerable people. But even more important is allowing people the time to really care for someone.'

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) reported in October that it was considering using hidden cameras and 'mystery shoppers' to record experiences of care home services in an attempt to prevent abuse and neglect.

The new chief inspectors of adult social care at the CQC, Andrea Sutcliffe, has called for a 'proper conversation' about using hidden cameras in this way.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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Last updated: Dec 05 2018

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