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Elderly: Care

Volume 461: debated on Friday 15 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department is taking to ensure privacy and dignity in toilet use for the elderly in hospitals and care homes; and if she will make a statement. (141451)

Regulation 12 of the Care Homes Regulations 2001 states that:

(4) The registered person shall make suitable arrangements to ensure that the care home is conducted-

(a) in a manner which respects the privacy and dignity of service users;

Standard 10 of the National Minimum Standards for Care homes for Older People includes the following requirements.

10.1 The arrangements for health and personal care ensure that service user's privacy and dignity are respected at all times, and with particular regard to:

personal care-giving, including nursing, bathing, washing, using the toilet or commode;

consultation with, and examination by, health and social care professionals;

consultation with legal and financial advisors;

maintaining social contacts with relatives and friends;

entering bedrooms, toilets and bathrooms;

following death.

The Healthcare Commission assesses the performance of the national health service against the standards set out in “Standards for Better Health”, published by the Department in 2004.

In carrying out its assessments, the Commission looks at the setting in which care is provided to ensure that, among other aspects, patients enjoy as much privacy as possible and are treated with dignity and respect.