Neglect and abuse of vulnerable elderly people in Sussex

Reports of neglect and abuse of vulnerable elderly and/or bedridden patients in an alarming number of hospitals and other health care facilities are all too common, and too often ignored.  Now a major inquiry has revealed some figures that are distressing, to say the least.

Warnings from the Care Quality Commission regarding the treatment of elderly patients in hospitals have previously been published, but this is the first time the government has released a report with figures on cases of alleged abuse in private care.  According to those figures, as many as 100,000 cases were reported last year alone.  Victims were most often the elderly and/or disabled living in private homes or privately run care facilities.

The complaints range from general neglect such as failure to provide clean linen to outright abuse.  Some patients were deprived of food and water, manhandled roughly, even slapped or worse, according to reports.  The perpetrators were sometimes health care workers and sometimes members of the victim’s own family.

A report by the Patients Association noted two cases in Sussex hospitals, the Royal Sussex in Brighton and St. Richard’s in Chichester.  Two elderly women suffered neglect and mistreatment that was observed and reported by their (respective)daughters.  Executives at NHS Trust have said that all complaints were fully investigated.