Skip to main content

Elderly Patients

Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to improve the (a) feeding and (b) hygiene care of elderly people treated by the NHS. (106207)

“Essence of Care”, published in 2001, provides a framework for improving the quality of the essential aspects of care, including feeding and hygiene care, in all health and social care settings. The benchmarking process outlined in “Essence of Care” enables services to identify best practice and to develop action plans to remedy poor practice.

Through the National Patient Safety Association, we are also taking action to ensure that patients are screened on admission to hospital to identify those at risk of malnutrition, and extending the use of protected mealtimes so that patients can concentrate on eating, and staff can give the help they need.

“A New Ambition for Old Age—Next Steps in Implementing the National Service Framework for Older People”, published in April 2006, sets out the next phase of reform of older people's services and reaffirms the Government's commitment to ensuring that dignity considerations are embedded in all aspects of care. Since January 2006, the Department of Health has taken a number of steps to take forward the dignity in care agenda at a national level including, on14 November, the launch of the first dignity in care campaign.