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Tuesday 19 March

Basic care for the elderly in hospitals and care homes in England is still not good enough, according to a report by the Care Quality Commission. The report based on a snapshot of services, found about a third failed to meet all the standards for nutrition and dignity. It cited examples of call-bells being left unanswered, bad manners and a lack of support at meal times. The RCN issued a response by Dr Peter Carter saying: “These are comprehensive reports, which show the improvements which some care providers have made, and the dedication of many staff. However, two thirds of care homes meeting all the five standards is not enough. If your relative is in the third that do not meet all of those standards, you will know that they are not optional extras. We all want our relatives to have dignified care, nutrition, adequate staff to look after them, good record-keeping and proper safeguarding procedures, and these should now be the norm”.

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Saturday 16-Mionday 18 March

The Daily Mail reports that Sir David Nicholson, the head of the NHS, is to be questioned about his expenses and his role in gagging whistleblowers today by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee.

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Wednesday 13 March

Plans to bring in a minimum price for alcohol look set to be dropped after a Cabinet revolt. The idea, which experts say could cut 2,000 drink-related deaths in a decade, ran into opposition from ministers including home secretary Theresa May, education secretary Michael Gove, Eric Pickles and Andrew Lansley.

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Tuesday 12 March

A Care Quality Commission report has found that people with dementia end up in hospital more often and are more likely to die there because their medical needs are being neglected by hospitals and care homes. The report found that care home staff are failing to prevent or detect a range of problems including pneumonia and dehydration. The Alzheimer’s Society have said that even though 80% of care home residents have dementia, many staff have no training in how to care for them properly.

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Saturday 9-Monday 11 March

Anyone going into hospital in future decades are at risk unless new antibiotics are discovered to stem the rise of deadly superbugs, warns Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer. In her report, Dame Sally Davies says antibiotic resistance should be ranked alongside terrorism, pandemics, climate change and natural disasters on the Government's risk register of serious threats to Britain. The RCN issued a response from Dr Peter Carter saying: “This is an important issue and it is the responsibility of everyone in health care, from front line staff to the Government, to act. Nursing staff play an important role by driving improvements in infection prevention and supporting patient and public education on the use of antibiotics”

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