Labour has urged the government to act after a report on vulnerable-patient care released on Wednesday called for sterner reprimands for hospitals that neglect patients.
The Patients Association’s condemning report includes 16 first-hand accounts of poor care administered to vulnerable patients in hospitals across the country.
Shadow minister for care and older people Liz Kendall has called on the government to consider regulating healthcare assistants and ensure that the Care Quality Commission thoroughly investigates reports of poor levels of care to help bring under-performing hospitals up to standard.
She said: “This report reveals yet more examples of vulnerable patients being denied basic standards of care that we would all expect for our elderly relatives. Such appalling treatment is unacceptable. NHS services that are falling short must be brought up to the standards of the best.
“The Tory-led government must ensure the regulator the Care Quality Commission properly follows up all its investigations into poor standards of care. The government should also seriously consider the regulation of healthcare assistants, alongside issues like nurse training and ensuring there is effective leadership on these issues in every ward and on every hospital board.
“Right now the real challenge facing the NHS is to improve standards of care for patients whilst at the same time making significant efficiency savings. A huge structural re-organisation of the NHS will make it harder for the NHS to meet this challenge or to tackle the very serious problems raised by the Patients Association in its report.”