Government’s response to elder abuse inquiry is lacklustre, charities say

A group of charities has criticised the government’s
response to the health select committee inquiry into elder abuse,
writes Natalie Valios.

It should now reconsider its response say Action on
Elder Abuse, which is backed by other organisations. The
government’s response was lacklustre response and failed to
“hear or fully understand the difficulties and shortfalls
within the current systems”, the charity said.

Gary FitzGerald, chief executive of Action on Elder Abuse, called
the response unacceptable. “It fails to listen to or value
the regulators, service providers, charities and trade unions who
invested so much time and energy in making considered submissions
on this important issue.”

He added that the government had not done justice to many of the 40
recommendations to come from the select committee. In the
government press statement accompanying the response, all bar one
of the measures it mentions to improve protection such as the Care
Standards Commission and minimum standards, were implemented long
before the select committee inquiry was set up.

Age Concern’s director-general Gordon Lishman backed FitzGerald.
“It is a bitter disappointment that the government has taken
the complacent view that existence of advice and helplines is an
adequate response to the select committee’s call for advocacy.
Increased advocacy would have encouraged more older people to
report cases of abuse.”

Meanwhile, Help the Aged’s health and social care policy
officer Rachael Childs said, “Improved regulation is part of
the solution, but there needs to be action across government to
enable older people to enforce their rights.”

While the select committee raised concerns about inadequacies in
regulation, the government only said it would discuss this with the
Commission for Social Care Inspection. It also stood by current
training of care assistants, despite criticism from the select

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