One million NHS patients have been the victims of appalling care

I tend to follow some British blogging and what is going on in the UK. What I have found fascinating in the last few weeks is the contempt of U.S. health care expressed in comments, blog posts and their media while simultaneously stories like the following also appear in their media. I thought I’d share a round up of things I haven’t seen getting much, if any, attention here.

In the last six years, the Patients Association claims hundreds of thousands have suffered from poor standards of nursing, often with ‘neglectful, demeaning, painful and sometimes downright cruel’ treatment.

The charity has disclosed a horrifying catalogue of elderly people left in pain, in soiled bed clothes, denied adequate food and drink, and suffering from repeatedly cancelled operations, missed diagnoses and dismissive staff.


This report on malnourishment in NHS wards:

The number of patients starving on NHS wards has doubled in just two years, according to new figures.

Figures obtained by the Conservatives show the number of serious incidents relating to poor nutritional care has almost doubled.
The number of incidents, reported anonymously, has risen from 15,473 in 2005 to 29,138 in 2007.
Figures also show huge regional variation, with numbers in the North East rising from 389 in 2005 to as many as 1,353 in 2007.
In total almost 70,000 patient incidents relating to nutrition were reported between 2005 and 2007.


How about 30,000 deaths in 5 yrs. from hospital contracted infections?

Data from the Office for National Statistics covering 2004 to 2008 is expected to show record numbers of deaths linked to the superbugs in England and Wales.
Opposition politicians said the Government had allowed “a horrifying death toll” because of its “slow and sloppy” response to spiralling levels of infection in NHS hospitals.


Maybe those infection rates are related to this:

Shocking figures released last month reveal that 70% of Britons NHS hospitals are continually plagued by vermin. The figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and brought to public attention by the Conservative party, show that more than two thirds of NHS trusts brought in pest controllers at least 50 times over the last 2 years.

Almost 20,000 incidents of pest infestations were reported between January 2006 and March 2008. Infestations of rats, mice, cockroaches, fleas, bedbugs and other biting occurred in wards, clinics and even operating theaters across the country.

80% of NHS trusts reported problems with ants, 66% with rats, 77% with mice, 59% with cockroaches, 65% with fleas, 24% with bedbugs and a further 6% with maggots. Outbreaks included rats in maternity wards, wasps and fleas in neonatal units and maggots in patients’ slippers.


I know a diary is supposed to contain lots of commentary, but I don’t know what to say about stories like these, other than I hope and pray the over whelming majority of our hospitals don’t have these issues to any significant extent. However, I fear our VA hospitals do.