Tag Archives: NHS

Dementia: how our campaign for patient dignity in hospitals took off

When I wrote about my father’s death, it touched many readers, all passionate to help dementia sufferers

‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Over the past few weeks, I have become freshly aware of the wisdom of this saying, aware both of this great battle we fight and of the kindness of people that runs like an underground river beneath the noise and hurtle of public events.

Two months ago, I wrote a piece in the Observer about the death of my father, who had had dementia for many years, but had been leading a contented life at home until he went into hospital with leg ulcers. I described how he entered able to walk, talk, wash himself, feed himself, work in his beloved garden, listen to poetry, be happy – and how, five weeks later, he came out a skeleton, incontinent, immobile, inarticulate, bed-bound. He lived like a ghost in his own life for eight more months; his dying was both a great sorrow but also his release.

‘Take care complaints more seriously’ regulator says

Complaints about health and social care should be taken more seriously, says the Care Quality Commission regulator.

Its report said there was a wide variation in the way complaints were handled across the NHS, primary care and adult social care services in England.

Too often people were met with a “defensive culture”, the report said.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has welcomed the move to improve care and said progress had been made.

The future for health and social care

Almost a third of Social Enterprise UK members operate in health and social care, often involved in some of the most innovative and pioneering work

  • Guardian Professional,
    Plymouth, where social enterprises have contributed to a dementia hub. Photograph: Andy Fox/Loop Images/Corbis

As the recent party conferences and Scottish referendum have proved, health and social care are at the centre of political attention – and will be crucial in general election campaigns. This is with good reason: we are in a period of challenges where health services are concerned. Many NHS trusts are already significantly in deficit, and the strain is beginning to show across the country.