A new report, ‘Respect and Protect’, published this week, draws together the findings of a major programme of research funded by Comic Relief and the Department of Health looking at the experiences of older people in care homes and hospitals in England and Wales.
Comic Relief first brought the mistreatment of older people to public attention in 2005 with the TV drama ‘Dad’ on BBC 1, watched by over 5 million people. Following this, we partnered with the Department of Health to study the prevalence of abuse and mistreatment of older people. In 2007 we published the first ever robust evidence of mistreatment in community settings.
This new research recommends practical steps which can be taken to help prevent the mistreatment of residents and patients as well as staff. It offers valuable advice for everyone in the care sector.
Creating a culture of care and respect is the key to preventing the mistreatment of older people in care homes and hospitals. Care homes and hospitals must support and value their staff, as well as the people they care for. This involves a range of different approaches that listen to the voices of the people being cared for and has their wellbeing at the centre of the care planning process.
Good care homes such as Mount Ephraim House in Tunbridge Wells, operated by NCF member Greensleeves Homes Trust, create a culture which improves the quality of life and quality of care for its residents.
Director Jennifer Dudley said: “At Mount Ephraim House we follow the principles of the Eden Alternative – it’s led by patient choice and enabling residents to do things for themselves. Patty, a 100 year old grandmother, has recently taken up drumming. She’d always wanted to play the drums, so we arranged a drum lesson for her 100th birthday in November and got her a set of drums. Patty has mastered a couple of tunes and a few drum rolls and is looking forward to more lessons!”
To view the Respect and Protect report and find out more about the recommendations: