Commenting on the CQC report into care of the elderly in hospital, Paul Green, head of communications for the over-50s group Saga said:
"There are far too many older people in hospital because of lack of provision of suitable social and medical care in the community. What’s more, the proportion of patients in hospital who are frail and elderly is steadily rising - and they have much greater care needs which sometimes completely overwhelm the hospital staffing resource.
"The key question could well be whether the conditions reported by the CQC are sparked by demoralised staff, poor management or financial pressures – each of which can be addressed – or whether a poor attitude towards the elderly and vulnerable is becoming endemic – which is not so easily addressed.
"The vast majority of nursing staff are caring, conscientious and committed. The one question the report does not appear to answer is why this attitude has developed, and why in some hospitals and not others.
"That it is not common across all hospitals means that there are clearly specific issues at specific hospitals, which provide a solid basis for investigation and redress.
"Nevertheless, it is yet more evidence that the elderly and vulnerable continue to be dealt poor hands when it comes to care and support."