Government adviser on older people quits

The department of health has confirmed that Chai Patel has
resigned from his position as government adviser on older
people’s issues, writes Clare

Patel has stood down as member of the older people’s
taskforce, and Help the Aged’s board of trustees following a
damning report published earlier this month, into the conditions of
a nursing home owned by Westminster Health Care (see ‘related
articles’ below). Patel was chief executive of Westminster Health
Care until earlier this year.

The independent investigation into Lynde House, Twickenham, was
commissioned last year as a result of concerns raised by relatives
of people cared for at the home. It cited low staffing levels,
inadequately trained staff, alongside “poor and inadequate” supply
of equipment.

Patel stepped down as chief executive of Westminster Health Care
several months ago, and became chief executive of its sister
company, Priory Healthcare, an independent provider of mental
health services.

A Priory Healthcare spokesperson said Patel’s resignation
from Help the Aged was due to the controversy surrounding Lynde
House. The charity was acting on behalf of some of the 70 older
residents there, and Patel felt it would cause the charity
embarrassment if he remained on the board;

Help the Aged agreed Patel’s resignation “was driven by
his wish to protect the charity from any embarrassment or perceived
compromise resulting from the Lynde House inquiry, currently being
contested by Westminster Health Care”.

But the Priory Healthcare spokesperson said Patel decided to
step down from the government’s taskforce because he felt it
would be inappropriate to advise the government on older people
when he no longer had day-to-day work in that area.

He therefore decided to resign when his tenure expires in
November, the spokesperson added.

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