Nurses Union Reacts To Panorama ‘Abuse’ Report

Cases of elderly abuse in two nursing homes were highlighted in a special report on Panorma this week. Incidents of physical abuse and neglect were reported by former staff to the Panorama team.

The Community District Nursing Association has been campaigning on the issue for the past 7 years after members reported that elderly people were repeatedly being mistreated in their home and in nursing homes. The CDNA then commissioned a special study to report its findings which made shocking reading.

Anne Duffy, chief executive said: “The CDNA brought this issue to the public’s attention some years ago – our members were witnessing an increasing number of cases of violence and mental abuse. The situation clearly remains serious and it is important to remember that most abuse takes place in the home.

District nurses are ideally placed to see first hand abuse and I am very concerned at the worrying rise and the number of incidents that don’t get reported. The home should be a sanctuary for elderly people yet can become a place of fear and violence.

We will continue to campaign calling for dignity for our elderly community and better protection of their human rights and thank Panorama for highlighting this national scandal “

A report, ‘Responding to Elder Abuse’, was produced in September 2003, which helped raise awareness and provided guidance to practitioners recognising and dealing with Elder Abuse. This was a major step forward and the first of its kind in the protection of those who suffer from abuse and many of the recommendations from the report are being implemented across the country.

Following the publication of the document the CDNA provided evidence to a House of Commons Select Committee investigation into Elder Abuse and held a nationwide conference at the House of Commons with national agencies and specialists on the issue.

The CDNA is continuing to further develop our role through working to highlight the issues of Abuse to any member of society and looking to our members to work actively to prevent abuse to their patient.