HALF a million old people are abuse victims, according to the latest estimates.
Wakefield Labour MP David Hinchliffe described the figures as "shocking".
He spoke out after measures were announced to stamp down on carers who abuse elderly or vulnerable people.
From next June the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) list will operate a workforce ban on staff who have failed in their care of elderly or disabled people.
Mr Hinchliffe, who chairs the Commons health select committee, said it was "staggering" that an estimated 500,000 over-65s were the subject of abuse at any one time.
"That's like a city the size of Leeds being abused," he said.
Witnesses at a meeting of his committee said it was likely the number being abused was much higher due to underreporting.
The committee heard that the definition of abuse could include physical violence, but also result from bad practice and neglect, leading to elderly people not getting the care they deserved.
Checks against the POVA list will operate through the Criminal Records Bureau, adding to the checks already carried out by employers.
Health Minister Stephen Ladyman said it would mean there was "no hiding place" for people who abused or mistreated vulnerable adults."