Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Half of English hospitals fail to meet basic standards on care for older people

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 13 October 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6645

Rapid Response:

Let the private sector contribute

Dear Editor,

It appears that NHS hospitals are not up to the task.

Further future budget cuts are only going to make things worse.

It is time to forget taboos by seeking help and contribution from the
private sector.

Because "Any society, any nation, any civilization is judged on the
basis of how it treats its weakest members." [1]


[1] "...the moral test of government is how that government treats
those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the
twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the
sick, the needy and the handicapped."

Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey

"Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to
fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is
the way that it cares for its helpless members".

Pearl S. Buck

"Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its
weakest members, the last, the least, the littlest."

Cardinal Roger Mahony, In a 1998 letter.

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest

Mahatma Ghandi

"The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest
and most helpless citizens."

James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.

This citation was also used by H.E. Javier Perez de Cuellar, Fyodor
Dostoyevsky, William Federer, Pope John Paul II, President Harry S.
Truman, Sir Winston Churchill.

Competing interests: No competing interests

07 November 2011
Stavros Saripanidis
Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Greece
Private Sector, 55131