Voluntary Sector: Top spot for Age Concern

Charity scores coverage for report on elderly people who are malnourished in hospital.

Age Concern has bumped the RSPCA off the top position in the NGO Watch report for August, after gaining coverage for its claims that elderly people are going hungry in hospitals.

The charity hit the headlines with a report released last month that said six out of ten older people are at risk of becoming malnourished in hospital. The report was picked up by media outlets including Press Association, the BBC and The Daily Telegraph.

In response to the report's conclusions, the Department of Health said it recognised there was a problem and that it aimed to act on the findings.

Many newspapers also focused on another angle that came out of the report, which was that elderly people are often abused and mistreated in care homes and hospitals.

Separately, Age Concern gained coverage last month for criticising the price increases by energy companies.

The RSPCA fell one place despite gaining coverage for its criticism of the annual Crufts event. An RSPCA spokesperson called it 'a parade of mutants' and a 'freakish, garish beauty pageant'.

The animal welfare charity also generated coverage after it successfully removed a washing machine from a cow's head. It used this to highlight how fly-tipping can put animals in danger.

Human Rights Watch jumped into third position after it criticised China for restricting access to certain websites during the Beijing Olympic Games. It also gained national coverage for criticising the Russian government for employing cluster bombs against the Georgian Army.

Cancer Research generated a media furore after it warned that NHS patients were enduring extreme financial hardship in order to pay for their treatments.

Meanwhile the Citizens Advice Bureau jumped into the table after it called on the Government to pay family carers a wage of £110 per week.

NGO Number of articles
Age Concern 158
Human Rights Watch 121
Cancer Research 118
Amnesty International 111
Friends of the Earth 106
RSPB 103
Red Cross 95
Citizens Advice Bureau 54
Oxfam 34
August 2008
Source: Infonic

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