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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Patients Association Publishes Patients Not Numbers, People Not Statistics

The United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS) is a government run healthcare system and the Patients Association has published what is being described as a "horrifying catalogue" of "neglectful, demeaning, painful and sometimes downright cruel" care f patients using first hand accounts, showing examples 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."

The Telegraph reports on the new publication by the Patients Association. (A link to the report itself will be at the bottom of this story)

The Patients Association said the dossier proves that while the scale of the scandal at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust - where up to 1,200 people died through failings in urgent care - was a one off, there are repeated examples they have uncovered of the same appalling standards throughout the NHS.

While the criticisms cover all aspects of hospital care, the treatment and attitude of nurses stands out as a repeated theme across almost all of the cases.

They have called on Government and the Care Quality Commission to conduct an urgent review of standards of basic hospital care and to enforce stricter supervision and regulation.

Claire Rayner, President of the Patients Association and a former nurse, said:“For far too long now, the Patients Association has been receiving calls on our helpline from people wanting to talk about the dreadful, neglectful, demeaning, painful and sometimes downright cruel treatment their elderly relatives had experienced at the hands of NHS nurses.

“I am sickened by what has happened to some part of my profession of which I was so proud.

The Patients Association, home page here, has links to the press release on this latest report as well as the 78 page PDF to the report itself.

The press release lists 16 partial accounts being used as examples of the care, or lack thereof, of patients in the NHS.

That is the type of "quality" care received in a government run healthcare system.