It’s time to make care homes more accountable - EXPRESS COMMENT

So it’s good news that victims of abuse could have their grievances heard properly – a contrast to the current situation where complaints go to the homes themselves or to partisan local authorities. 

Now the MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, whose own father suffered terrible injuries in care, is pushing for a proper confidential reporting system to end cover-ups of mistreatment and frustrating complaints procedures. 

She believes that the social care system needs to be simplified and made more impartial, and to take families’ concerns far more seriously at a time in their lives when patients are often unable to express themselves, and can be as vulnerable as young children. 

We applaud her initiative, to be heard by NHS chiefs next month. 

It will make care homes more accountable, enable complaints to be heard properly and – backed by the Daily Express Respect for the Elderly Crusade – make CCTV mandatory in communal areas of homes and, with discretion, in some private rooms. Our elderly deserve better, and this is a step towards their true safeguarding. 

Deserving of their dues

It is shocking that more than £3billion of pensioner benefits go unclaimed each year. 

Over half of property owners aged 65-plus have never even checked their eligibility – and benefits like Pension Credit, and Council Tax Reduction are going unclaimed by millions of older people, who lose an average of £1,058 a year per household. 

It’s hardly the high rollers losing out: the Office for National Statistics shows that retired households with the lowest incomes receive the lowest benefits. 

This generation is often proud, stoic, thrifty and uncomplaining. 

They might also not know they’re eligible. 

But at this stage of life, they have earned the right to benefits that could make a big difference to their quality of life and independence. 

Let’s help them secure their dues.

It’s still only March but winter is definitely over. 

The Met Office has said that later this week we might even get up to 64F – while reports put the recent weather as being hotter than Turkey, Athens and Ibiza. 

It’s warm enough for a swim and the reason is the “African plume”: a balmy blast from the Azores. 

Should we be wary of climate change? Of course. 

Should we enjoy the heat while it lasts? 

Definitely, it’s the mood lifter we sorely need at the moment. 

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