The Older People's Commissioner for Wales - Call for Evidence: Dignity and Respect in Hospitals

The Commission has established a Panel of Inquiry, chaired by Dame Deirdre Hine, to take evidence about the experiences of older people in hospitals. The aims of the Review are:-

  • to consider older people's experiences, both good and bad, when they are hospital in-patients;
  • to make practical recommendations where people are not treated with dignity and respect; and
  • to spread good practice where they are.

The Panel is now seeking written evidence from older people who have been, or are in, a general or community hospital. The Panel would also theylcome evidence from older people's families and friends, advocates and organisations working with and for older people from all sectors, including statutory and voluntary organisations, trade unions and professional associations about the experiences of older people whilst they are in hospital. Evidence should relate to hospital stays of more than five consecutive days and be based on experiences within the last two years.

The Panel of Enquiry wishes to receive evidence on a number of issues and would be grateful if you could respond to any or all of the points below which apply to your circumstances or interests:-

  • Personal privacy, including issues with mixed sex wards and facilities;
  • Communications, including how people are informed about, and involved in decisions about their care, the type of language used and terms of address;
  • Food and nutrition including offering and respecting choice, identifying and providing appropriate assistance;
  • Personal hygiene such as condition of hospital bathrooms, assistance with washing if appropriate, and the use of incontinence pads;
  • Managing end of life care;
  • Recognising older people in all their diversity;
  • Planning for discharge including when to plan and how this is communicated;
  • Autonomy and identity including access to personal items such as glasses and false teeth and personal possessions;
  • Awareness of individual rights and understanding of how to complain; and
  • Any other examples of good or bad practice related to maintaining dignity and respect.

The Panel of Inquiry will not cover clinical diagnosis or treatment, the transportation of people to and from hospital, or discharge arrangements beyond hospital. Given the anticipated volume of responses to the Inquiry, they would appreciate it if written evidence does not exceed four pages or 1500 words. Evidence is welcome in the language of your choice.

The Panel of Inquiry will be taking oral evidence in the autumn so it would be helpful if you could indicate in your submission whether you would be prepared to give oral evidence, if invited.

Submissions should be sent to or to:

Delyth Lewis
Secretariat to the Inquiry Panel
Older People's Commissioner for Wales
Cambrian Buildings
Mount Stuart Square
Cardiff CF10 5FL

Submissions should arrive no later than Monday 16th August 2010

Disclosure of information

Both the oral evidence and written evidence in part or in full may be published alongside the Commissioner's Review. However, they appreciate that some of the evidence that they are likely to receive will be of a sensitive and highly personalised nature and they will take all the necessary steps to anonymise examples they are given of poor practice. Information that they consider to be personal data will not be published.

If you are providing any information, which you feel is not suitable for public disclosure, please indicate which parts should not be published.

Accessible formats

If you would like a copy of this document in Braille, large print or audio format, please contact the Older People's Commissioner for Wales. Contact them by emailing or by telephone on 08442 640670