NHS care is under renewed scrutiny after a damning new report on Wednesday highlighted how some patients were denied pain relief, told by nurses to go to the toilet in their seat and left without food and water.
The NHS is ignoring patients’ needs because of “a systemic problem” which requires an overhaul of hospital procedures to eradicate neglect by staff, warns the Patients Association, an influential campaign group, in a study which details 16 cases of appalling care inflicted on people who were already very unwell.
The Department of Health responded by pledging to “root out” poor treatment wherever it occurred and work with the NHS until the problems identified in the dossier were resolved.
The association’s report follows a series of critical reports about standards of NHS care in some areas, especially of elderly patients, by watchdogs such as the Care Quality Commission and charities such as Age UK.
The report said: “In the 21st century, in one of the most developed countries and health systems in the world, patients should not be left starving or thirsty, they shouldn’t be left in pain and they shouldn’t be forced to urinate or defecate in their bed because the nurse designated to them says it’s easier for them to change the sheets later than to help them to the toilet now. Yet this is what is happening around the country every day.”
One of the things that a little competition would cure, isn’t it?
A restaurant gets a reputation for serving up slop then word soon gets around and everyone goes elsewhere.
A hospital gets a reputation for insisting patients sit in their own faeces and word seen gets around and everyone goes elsewhere.
Medical treatment, qua medical treatment, might not change all that much. But the lived experience of patients would most definitely improve. That alone is a good enough reason to do it, no?