An investigation by the Care Quality Commission found the elderly were being held behind locked doors on wards and in day rooms in too many National Health Service hospitals and residential homes in order to make life easier for the staff, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Safeguards were introduced in 2009 to stop the scandal of dementia patients being locked up and restrained in nursing homes and hospitals, but the commission report found in many nursing homes and hospital wards, restrictions were being imposed across the board, leaving all residents and patients trapped.
"There have been examples of blanket restrictions in all types of settings, which is often distressing for people," the report said.
The report's editor, Heather Hurford, said these institutions were locking up the elderly to simplify matters for the staff.
"When a care provider makes blanket use of restrictions it will be for the benefit of the care providers and not those receiving care," Hurford told the Telegraph. "It can be a sign of poor staffing arrangements, poor training and a culture that puts the needs of the organization over those of the individual."