Campaigners accuse standards body of being too close to care providers

The National Care Standards Commission is more interested in
keeping providers happy than improving the care of older people,
according to evidence to the health committee inquiry into elder

In written evidence submitted to the inquiry, the campaigning
organisation Action on Elder Abuse attacked the commission for its
“desire to maintain a good public image and a positive relationship
with providers” rather than ensuring quality care for vulnerable

A spokesperson for the commission denied the allegations: “Quite
often the reverse is the case. On many occasions providers have
accused NCSC inspectors of intimidation and bullying, making it
very hard for them to get the job done.”

During the first hearing of the inquiry last week, Action on Elder
Abuse joined with other organisations including Help the Aged and
the Prevention of Professional Abuse Network (Popan) in calling for
a recording and reporting strategy to be introduced looking at the
prevalence and causes of abuse.

Popan chief executive Jonathan Coe told the inquiry that a
systematic approach to the reporting and recording of elder abuse
should be a requirement of care providers so that an annual report
of the figures could be produced.

“If it’s possible for the NHS to produce reports on the number of
staff that are abused by patients, then surely it’s possible to
turn that around the other way,” he said.

Help the Aged said that local advocacy schemes should be linked to
regulation bodies, where people could go and report their concerns
and ensure problems were acted upon.

Training for staff in recognising the signs of elder abuse was also
highlighted as central to the attempt to stamp out cruelty and
neglect towards older people.

Popan recommended that the Department of Health establish a task
force on the abuse of patients, involving abuse survivors, patients
the public and professionals.

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