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Page last updated at 07:38 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 08:38 UK

Report highlights "cruel" care

A report by the Patients' Association has highlighted what it calls a "pattern of shocking standards of care" in some NHS hospitals. It describes the treatment of some, often elderly, patients as "neglectful, demeaning, painful and sometimes downright cruel".

Michael Summers, vice chairman of the Patients Association, told the Today programme that while "most nurses look after us extremely well", his organisation had received "hundreds of calls" from concerned relatives which outlined examples of elderly patients being left in their own urine, of soiled beds and sometimes cases in which there was blood around the bed.

Christine Beasley, chief nursing officer for England, agreed that a "small but very significant proportion" of nurses were to blame and that it should be easier for people, and care professionals, to complain, adding: "We need to just make sure that the care that the majority of our patients receive is the care that they all receive."

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