It is appalling that frail vulnerable people can die from a lack of basic sustenance in the heart of care provision.
This is a major scandal that should never have occurred, and all levels must bear some responsibility, including care providers, regulators and the Government. The quality and safety of care of our older people has been an afterthought for too long.
What we need is a Cabinet-led strategy that makes this a major priority for change. We cannot go on like this.
– Gary FitzGerald Chief Executive, Action on Elder Abuse
As a report reveals more than 1,000 British care home residents over the past decade died of thirst or while suffering from severe dehydration, we look at some recent cases.
Norma Spear, 71, died in September 2010 after losing 35lbs in five weeks in Druids Meadow care home, Birmingham. An inquest found dehydration played a part in her death.
Josephine Cunningham, 86, won compensation from Care UK in 2011 after being left badly dehydrated at Appleby House, Epsom.
Gloria Foster, 81, died in February 2013 after being left nine days without food, following the closure of her care provider Agency Carefirst24, which shut with no replacement, a report by Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board found.
Siegfried Jaeckel, 84, died on Christmas Day 2010 at St Andrew's Lodge care home, Nottingham, with the nature of his death prompting a council enquiry. Deputy Coroner for Nottingham Heidi Connor said the cause of death was pneumonia, but that dehydration had contributed to this.
The law requires that care homes must ensure residents receive enough to eat and drink and we expect the Care Quality Commission to take swift action when this is not the case.
We want everyone to get better care, which is why the CQC are bringing in new rules so that it can crack down on poor care more effectively and why we're taking action so that company directors will be personally responsible for the quality of care their organisation provides.
Directors in charge of care homes and hospitals will be held personally accountable for any abuse or neglect under new measures being unveiled today.
Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb will say that the changes are designed to prevent a repeat of cases like Winterbourne View, where an undercover reporter revealed shocking abuse at a Bristol care home.
The new standards will require directors to take a "fit and proper" test to ensure they fit the role, and make it easier for the health watchdog to prosecute them where there are clear failures to meet basic standards of care.