Liz Kendall MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Care and Older People, commenting on the Patients Association’s ‘Patient Stories’report, said:
"This report reveals some appalling examples of vulnerable patients being denied basic standards of care that we would all expect for our families and loved ones. Such treatment is unacceptable, and NHS services that are falling short must be brought up to the standards of the best.
"These problems are partly due to the pressures the NHS faces: big increases in demand, squeezed resources, and more very sick elderly patients ending up in hospital - often because they aren't getting the up-front care and support they need in the community and from social services. This problem will only increase as local council budgets are cut and care for older people at home is reduced.
"But there are deeper, cultural issues too. Healthcare is becoming increasingly specialised, with the risk that services can end up focusing more on the medical and technical aspects of treatment than on the basic human elements of care.
"Addressing this means looking closely at the training of doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants and other NHS staff. The quality and experience of care for patients must be a top priority for those who run our hospitals and for staff leaders on individual hospital wards.
"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. David Cameron’s huge structural re-organisation of our health system is an unnecessary distraction that makes it much harder for the NHS to meet this challenge.”