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Ombudsman comments on Age UK report on failing safety net for older people

Commenting on Age UK's new report on how the safety net for older people living at home is failing, ahead of their For Later Life conference,

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Rob Behrens said:

' We know from our casework that a fragmented health and social care system means vulnerable older people are often falling through the cracks. This is all the more alarming given older people’s reluctance to speak up when things go wrong. The NHS must ensure that services co-ordinate and communicate with one another and families, as well as making patients aware of how to complain. '

Background:

  • Our 2015 Breaking down the Barriers report highlighted that many older people are afraid to raise the alarm when something goes wrong in their care and worry about what will happen to them if they do.
  • Our 2016 Unsafe discharge from hospital report highlighted cases where people have been discharged from hospital before they are fit to leave, without relatives or carers being informed or making sure they can cope on their return home.
  • Our 2016 Working together to investigate health and social care complaints report with the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman highlighted failure of public services to provide joined-up health and social care.