Elderly People Shouldn’t Have To Suffer In Silence

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has reported that vulnerable older people are ‘suffering in silence’ when their NHS care goes wrong.

It reported that as many elderly people rely on relatives for care, they often wait for family members to raise their concerns. But a recent survey found that many people find it difficult to complain. The Ombudsman and Gransnet surveyed 600 people whose elderly relatives had been in hospital in the past year. It found some distressing incidents including nurses laughing at patients, indecent assault and compromising patient’s dignity. It highlighted that one in three families had concerns about family members in hospital.

The NHS should be a trusted organisation however, too many people are suffering in silence. Elderly people feel powerless or too scared to voice their concerns or complain following a series of failings by NHS hospitals.

Rob Behrens, the Ombudsman, said: “The NHS needs to convince patients that their care will not be compromised if a concern was lodged.”

A spokesman for NHS Improvement said: “Feedback from patients and their families on their care and experience is and will remain to be critical in helping the NHS provide the high standards of care that the service strives to deliver every day.”