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Elderly dignity under scrutiny

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The Department of Health has announced a £2m investigation into the dignity and safety of older people in NHS wards, care homes and prisons.

The investigation, to be jointly funded by the government and Comic Relief, is one of three measures in a package to strengthen support for older vulnerable people in the care system.

It also includes giving patients who fund their own treatment the right to refer complaints to an independent adjudicator and a possible amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill – currently going through parliament – so that publicly funded patients in private care homes would be protected by the Human Rights Act.

Findings of the project are to be presented in a report due in 2011.

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