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Prosecutions against care homes and NHS hospitals up by a third

Charity warns older people’s safety is at risk from ‘broken care system’

Prosecutions and other criminal enforcement actions unsafe care homes and NHS hospitals have risen a third in a year, figures show.

Official figures reveal there were 211 criminal enforcement actions against failing providers last year – a rise from 159 the year before.

The statistics from the Care Quality Commission, reported by the Telegraph, also show a sharp rise in civil actions against providers from 781 to 906. 

Care homes and hospitals have been fined over deaths, residents falling down stairs, burns and errors in the handling of medicines.

George McNamara, director of policy at charity Independent Age, warned that the safety of older people is being put at risk from a broken social care system and overstretched NHS.

“Older people have nowhere else to turn. Fixing social care is now a national emergency, and the government needs to urgently bring forward proposals and publish the social care green paper,” he said.

The number of serious injuries in care homes has almost doubled since 2011, with 43,594 reports in 2018, compared with 23,709 seven years before.