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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2011): Care of the elderly - UK

Dignity and nutrition inspection programme: national overview

Care Quality Commission

2011

After carrying out spot checks at geriatric wards in 100 hospitals, the Care Quality Commission found that 35 needed to make improvements, 18 were failing to meet legal standards, and there were "major concerns" at two trusts. The report concluded that unacceptable care had become standard in some hospitals, with doctors and nurses talking down to elderly patients, ignoring their calls for assistance, and failing to help them eat, drink and wash. Inspectors found that in many wards older patients were not given privacy, call bells were left out of reach or ignored, and staff spoke in a "condescending or dismissive way" about those in their care. Although "excessive bureaucracy" and "short staffing" were sometimes to blame, in some places there was unacceptable care on well staffed wards because of doctors' and nurses' poor attitudes.

QE and interest rate cuts a "disaster" for pensioners

R. Evans

Daily Telegraph, Oct. 14th 2011, p.1

The Bank of England's attempts to prop up the economy in 2011 cut a typical pensioner's income by more than 4,000 a year and reduced the value of their savings by nearly 10,000. Interest rate cuts and the policy of quantitative easing (printing new money) hit pensioners who saw reduced savings income, high inflation and reduced annuity rates, which determined income from pension pots.

(See also Daily Telegraph, Oct. 18th 2011, p. 4)

Southern Cross crunch sparks idea for new ownership model

R. Kilgour

Caring Times, Oct. 2011, p. 36 + 39

This article proposes a new business model for the operation of care homes, based on the successful John Lewis Partnership. Under the new model, staff, landlords and funders would own an equal share of the business and would be represented on the board. All decisions under this new structure would be made in the best interests of residents, their families and staff, as well as of the funders and landlords.

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