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Scandal, social policy and social welfare2nd, Rev. Ed$
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Ian Butler

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347466

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347466.001.0001

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‘The corruption of care’:

‘The corruption of care’:

The Ely Hospital Inquiry 1969

Chapter:
(p.33) three ‘The corruption of care’:
Source:
Scandal, social policy and social welfare
Author(s):

Ian Butler

Mark Drakeford

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861347466.003.0003

In June 1967, a book entitled Sans everything: A case to answer, edited by Barbara Robb, was published. It claimed that callous indifference to patients; exploitation; rough handling; removal of glasses, hearing aids, and dentures; and other indignities, were portrayed as customary procedures. Robb, founder of Aid for Elderly in Government Institutions, was the mobilising spirit behind the attention that was now drawn to conditions in some of Britain's oldest and least-well-resourced institutions. Life within the hospitals in which geriatric medicine was practised continued to reflect their Poor Law heritage. Kenneth Robinson, Minister of Health in the Labour government, responded to the book's claims by asking the Hospital Boards responsible for six hospitals identified by the authors of Sans everything to set up independent Committees of Inquiry, including one each for Ely Hospital and Friern Hospital. This chapter examines the impact that Public Inquiries into social-welfare scandals might have upon future policy formation.

Keywords:   Ely Hospital, scandals, social welfare, Britain, patients, Barbara Robb, Public Inquiries, geriatric medicine, hospitals, Committees of Inquiry

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