Skip to content

The Times, front page, ‘NHS has failed the elderly, says damning report’ (published 15th Feb)

Coverage of Ann Abrahams’ health service Ombudsman report. The devastating report catalogues a ‘harrowing’ array of failings in hospitals and GPs’ surgeries that have left patients suffering unnecessary pain, indignity and distress in their end-of-life care. The findings are said to reveal an attitude, both personal and institutional, towards the elderly and those at the end of life, which “fails to recognise the humanity and individuality of the people concerned and to respond to them with sensitivity, compassion and professionalism.”

The article goes on to identify the main failings towards older people in their end-of-life care: dehydration, poor nutrition, inadequate pain relief, badly managed medication and poor communication. There are suggestions that unannounced inspections are to begin in the wards of 100 hospitals from next month, with the aim of assessing “dignity and nutrition for older people”.

[link not available, accessible behind Times paywall]

Ann Abraham’s report received widespread coverage in all national newspapers, such as in the Guardian.