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NHS and the elderly: it is time to mobilise

by
17 February 2011

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From Dr Angela B. Summerfield

Sir, — The NHS Ombudsman has issued a damning report with re­spect to the care of the elderly, and has demanded a change of culture. Patients have been deprived of food and water; they have been left un­washed for long periods of time; open wounds have not been treated; and medication has not been ad­ministered. I personally have had matters of this kind drawn to my attention by deeply distressed Chris­tians who currently care for, or minister to, those in hospital.

I therefore call on your readers to have this matter raised at the PCCs and synods to which they belong, so that the authorities may be pressed to take decisive action. The Church has a long and honourable history of caring effectively for the sick. Our culture is not one of neglect. We need to mobilise ourselves to stop what appears to be a failure of values as well as action by those responsible. If we cannot act to protect the least of the brethren, what can we do?

ANGELA SUMMERFIELD
Rose Bank
Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe
Thirsk, North Yorkshire YO7 2PR

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