Delays to standards increase abuse risk

Older people’s charity Action on Elder Abuse has criticised the
Department of Health for postponing for a second time the
publication of the national minimum standards for the regulation of
domiciliary care agencies.

The charity’s chief executive, Gary FitzGerald, said last week’s
decision to delay the standards until January “could leave many
thousands of people at risk”.

The new standards, which also cover nursing agencies and
residential family centres, had been deferred until September, two
months later than planned. The DoH blamed the second delay on the
high number of responses it had received during consultation on the

FitzGerald said domiciliary care should have been higher up the
government’s list of priorities. “We are concerned this unregulated
environment is an attractive arena for abusers and the DoH has just
guaranteed them another five months of freedom to practise their

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