The charity Age UK has said the Prime Minister must “clearly set out how he will take forward recommendations of the Francis report”.
Age UK said today’s report of the Public Inquiry into The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust shows the need for “deep and lasting change”.
The charity said at any one time about 65% of patients in hospital will be over the age of 65, and many of them will be frail, suffering from dementia and have complicated conditions.
David Cameron told the Commons the report found “three fundamental problems with the culture” of the NHS: a focus on finance and figures at the expense of patient care, that patient care was always someone else’s problem and defensiveness and complacency.
He said the Care Quality Commission to create the new post of Chief Inspector of Hospitals.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General at Age UK, said:
“What happened at Mid Staffordshire hospital must not be seen in isolation.
“Older patients in hospitals across the country all too frequently continue to face appalling breaches of humane and dignified care.
“To stop this kind of shocking treatment once and for all requires a change in culture and practice from top to bottom.
“We need to ensure all staff are well trained in caring for frail older people and empowered to deliver excellent care supported by senior managers. It also means listening to and working with patients and their families to make sure care is right.
“If we are to stand a chance of preventing another tragedy on the scale of Mid Staffs, we must make sure dignified care is always a top priority for the NHS at every level.
“However if we can get it right for some of the frailest and most vulnerable patients then we’ll know we have an NHS fit for everyone.”
Mr Cameron told MPs the Government will “look at the law to make sure the inspector’s judgement is about whether a hospital is clean, safe and caring - rather than an exercise in bureaucratic box ticking”.
“In the meantime I have asked the NHS Medical Director – Professor Sir Bruce Keogh – to conduct an immediate investigation into the care of hospitals with the highest mortality rates and to check that urgent remedial action is being taken,” he said.