Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hospitals' Dirty Secrets Uncovered

The dirty underbelly lurking beneath New Labour's shiny new temples to the NHS has been laid bare in a shocking indictment of patient care riddled with Third World filth and neglect.

The NHS may well be "world-class" when it comes to treatment but when it comes to standards of care, it's down there with the dross.

An urgent review of basic hospital care is being demanded by a leading patient lobby group after a major report exposed "appalling" NHS standards.

Relatives told the Patients Association how patients, often the elderly, were left lying in faeces and urine and were not helped to eat.

The horrifying report focused on 16 harrowing accounts of basic nursing and domiciliary care which the association says are just a tip of the iceberg. 2% of patients surveyed felt that their care was unacceptable.

Government-blessed nursing bosses and quango kids were quick on the defensive, arguing the NHS treats millions of people every day and the vast majority of patients experience "good quality, safe and effective care".

Never mind the vast majority - what about the silent minority? The proportions still represent hundreds of thousands of patients. Even two per cent is too many.

The hospital standards watchdog reckons its surveys show just 93% of patients rate their overall care as 'good or excellent'. So that means 7% are not happy with the service.

Every patient deserved to be treated with dignity. But relatives told of problems getting help from nurses and how patients were left with sandwiches or drinks in packaging which they could not open.

Treatment at the hands of some nurses was tantamount to cruelty.

Grave lapses in standards of care were highlighted earlier this year at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust which families described as "Third World" conditions, with some patients drinking water from vases and lying for hours in soiled bedding.

That kind of appalling treatment could be found across the NHS.

The group's president, ex-nurse Claire Rayner, called for "bad, cruel nurses" to be struck off. Fat chance.

Using the tired old excuse, nursing bureaucrats have repeated the bullsh*t mantra that the report may undermine public confidence in the "world-class" (sic) care and dampen staff morale.

The Orange Party is sure where the blame lies and it is not at the feet of the nursing profession.

Hospitals are bogged down with a management structure obsessed with targets and obsessed with making ends meet to pay for the legacy of a PFI build.

Something has to give and that's patient care, cleaning and the basic standard of care one would expect from the NHS.

Politicians were quick to fall over themselves professing their undying love for the dear old NHS as it was dragged into the US healthcare civil war. At a stroke that stifled the need for a proper debate over the future of the NHS and health care. The NHS has lost its way.

Once a byword for "free" medical care for all at the point of delivery, billions of pounds are now squandered on useless PR health puffs. Cash which should be going into patent care is being used to prop up and massage the egos of government ministers and quango cronies playing politics with the NHS and people's lives.

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