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October 2, 2012

Elderly Can Sue Over Poor Care (UK)

October 1,2012
By Sarah O'Grady

PENSIONERS treated badly in hospitals and care homes can sue for compensation under new age-discrimination laws to be introduced today.
The new rules will also ban the NHS from denying older patients treatments simply because of age.

Recent evidence that old people have been left hungry, dehydrated and lying in soiled clothing in NHS hospitals and care homes has caused outrage.

Doctors have also admitted that they routinely restrict access of some treatments to the elderly.

However, while age discrimination in the workplace is already outlawed, there has been no legal protection in the provision of elderly care services.

This new legislation, the final part of the Equality Act 2010, will ensure that older people cannot be discriminated
against in the provision of goods, facilities and services.

Under the Act, age discrimination claims will be heard by county courts, and patients may be entitled to large sums in compensation.

The rules complement existing laws banning age discrimination in the workplace.

Specific exemptions are included in the laws to allow some positive discrimination, such as the provision of age-related benefits such as free bus passes or certain medical treatments like flu jabs.

General health and social care provision are not included in the exemptions to ensure fair treatment for older patients.

 SOURCE:       The Express, UK
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