Nurses have been told to do regular ward rounds, and patients encouraged to carry out inspections to improve hospital standards.
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Evidence of neglect and abuse at a private nursing home in Essex has been uncovered by a BBC investigation.
The Department of Health is making an extra £150 million available to local authorities to help people leave hospital more quickly and receive care at home, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced last week.
Cognitive function can start to decline from the age of 45, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal
Politicians from all parties have been urged to work together to find a way to overhaul the "failing" social care system in England.
Ministers have allocated an extra £150m for patients to get care at home after warnings that local authority cuts were creating a "crisis" in social care.