Medical Reading

Almost A Quarter Of Older People Say They Are Not Always Treated With Dignity In Hospital, UK

June 15, 2017

Help the Aged today responded to the Government's unveiling of a nationwide 'dignity tour' by Care Services Minster Ivan Lewis. The Charity has highlighted figures unveiled in its annual Spotlight report, also released today, which show the proportion of older people who say they are not always treated with dignity when in hospitals is 22 per cent . (1)

Paul Cann, Director of Policy at Help the Aged, said:

'The care of older people often falls short of the essential standards of dignity that should be compulsory: a survey of adult inpatients found that almost a quarter of those asked felt that they were not always treated with respect and dignity in hospital. (1)

'Despite many nurses and doctors working against the odds to give their best, older people are too often forced to suffer infringements in basic standards of care such as nutrition and privacy.

'In the 21st century, it really is shocking that health services fail to consistently provide aspects of basic care, and in the process deny older people their dignity - this most basic recognition of their humanity.

'Establishing and maintaining dignity for patients is an issue of paramount importance - patients, in particular older people, cite dignity as a primary area of concern for them when accessing healthcare.

'We must break out of the cycle of claim and counter-claim. Later in the year, Help the Aged will be launching a set of measures that will tell us how much progress we are making with dignity year on year, and call all those responsible to account.

'Dignity in care should never be compromised and should be far more than a mere concept to sign up to. Fine words do not deliver dignity for our older population.'


(1) Survey of Adult Inpatients in Hospital in England the NHS 2007, Healthcare Commission, 2008

Help the Aged is the charity fighting to free disadvantaged older people in the UK and overseas from poverty, isolation, neglect and ageism. It campaigns to raise public awareness of the issues affecting older people and to bring about policy change. The Charity delivers a range of services: information and advice, home support and community living, including international development work. These are supported by its paid-for services and fundraising activities - which aim to increase funding in the future to respond to the growing unmet needs of disadvantaged older people. Help the Aged also funds vital research into the health issues and experiences of older people to improve the quality of later life.

Help the Aged urgently needs donations and support to help it in the increasingly challenging fight to free disadvantaged older people from poverty, isolation and neglect.

Help the Aged