My Lords, I have to say that I am extremely disappointed that the noble Earl cannot in some way meet the requirements that I put forward in my amendments. Unfortunately, the number of older people who suffer abuse is growing all the time. The sort of personal plans for care that we now want to introduce for everyone just make such abuse a greater risk than it was before. We know that an awful lot of older people are shoved in a room, the door is closed, they get their meal and no one does anything else. Over a long period, those people’s conditions can get worse and worse. When and if they are eventually discovered, it is too late to do anything to help them.
The sort of care that we want to provide for people might be damaged by a refusal to look at this issue in greater detail. I am really disappointed. I understand the noble Earl’s views but disagree with them. I thank all noble Lords who supported what I have said and I assure my noble friend Lady Meacher that I was not intending to persecute carers. My intention related to people who, I am afraid, inflict real harm and hurt on some of the most vulnerable people in our society. I have worked on this issue for years; that is why we set up Action on Elder Abuse, the only specialist agency to look at this. Its view is strong and has not changed. We must have some sort of protection for these very vulnerable people. I hope that one day we can get this matter looked at again and I hope that the Minister will consider it in the future. In the mean time, I withdraw my amendment.