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Liz Kendall MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Care and Older People, commenting on today's report from the Patients Association, said:

"This report reveals yet more examples of vulnerable patients being denied basic standards of care that we would all expect for our elderly relatives. Such appalling treatment is unacceptable. 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.

"The Tory-led Government must ensure the regulator the Care Quality Commission properly follows up all its investigations into poor standards of care. The Government should also seriously consider the regulation of healthcare assistants, alongside issues like nurse training and ensuring there is effective leadership on these issues in every ward and on every hospital board.

"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. A huge structural re-organisation of the NHS will make it harder for the NHS to meet this challenge or to tackle the very serious problems raised by the Patients Association in its report."

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