Lansley: Poor standards “simply unacceptable”

Health secretary Andrew Lansley responds to the Care Quality Commission's findings that elderly patients are often mistreated in hospitals.

"Everyone admitted to hospital deserves to be treated as an individual, with compassion and dignity. We must never lose sight of the fact that the most important people in the NHS are its patients.

"That's why I asked the CQC to look into the treatment of older patients with practising nurses and people who use services – so that poor care can be identified and stamped out. They saw some exemplary care, but some hospitals were not even getting the basics right. That is simply unacceptable.

"In the future, I want local HealthWatch organisations to be able to carry out unannounced independent inspections and hold local services to account by drawing on experience from patients and their families. Working with CQC, Healthwatch will be champions for patients' quality of care."