This site is intended for health professionals only

Nurses "would not report OAP abuse"

A charity claims it is a "national disgrace" that many nurses say they will not report the fact an elderly person in their care has been abused.

A survey for Help the Aged found that heavy workloads, a lack of training, and fear of being confronted by an abuser is preventing nurses from taking action.

Around 58% of nurses polled say they would not report abuse of an older person because they fear they may have got it wrong.

But 43% said they have not received any elder abuse training, and a fifth who have said they are not satisfied with it.

Jean Gould, legal policy officer for Help the Aged, said: "It is a national disgrace that we sit back while thousands of older people are abused every day.

"We are reassured that the government has finally committed to review the current guidance on the protection of vulnerable adults.

"But until we bring elder abuse firmly out of the shadows, we are sending a message to perpetrators that it is fine to take advantage of older, vulnerable adults."

Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said: "This report exposes some of the gaps in the education and training provided for nurses.  

"Nurses are propatient and for them not to be reporting abuse must mean there are serious failings in the system that have to be tackled."

Help the Aged

Copyright © PA Business 2007

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"Make the nurse/carer understand the fraility of the person and liken them to babies in old bodies. Also help them feel the horror if it were their own parent or dear relative who was being abused. Teach the nurses and carers respect for the aging patient by putting themselves in their shoes. I suggest small workshops where the staff wear disposable wet nappies and sit in a bed, not fed or attended to" - Name and address supplied