The Daily Mail details an independent report on England's Stafford Hospital, run by the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, that found "third world" conditions at the facility, including nurses who didn't know how to operate heart monitors (an unnecessary skill, as most of the equipment didn't work) and "patients having surgery cancelled four days in a row and left without food, drink or medication."
The 'shocking' catalogue of failures was released yesterday after an independent investigation by the Healthcare Commission.
It found Government waiting time targets and a bid to win foundation status were pursued at the expense of patient safety over a three-year period at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust.
The commission's report—revealed in yesterday's Daily Mail—said at least 400 deaths could not be explained, although it is feared up to 1,200 patients may have died needlessly.
Speaking to MPs at Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons, Mr Brown said: "We do apologise to all those people who have suffered from the mistakes that have been made in the Stafford hospital."
The Telegraph's Mary Riddell says that patients in the Third World should be insulted by the Stafford Hospital comparison:
Many have described the conditions as "Third World". That is an insult. I spent a day last week in a hospital in a broken town in one of the most desolate countries in Africa. Doctors had not been paid for months by a near-bankrupt state, and post-operative patients lay, two to a bed, in crowded wards. But compared with the Stafford "war zone", this clinic looked like Harley Street. Battle-ravaged lives were being saved in an atmosphere of hope, respect and compassion; qualities absent in a flagship hospital in one of the most medically advanced nations on earth. The Prime Minister, said by a friend to be consumed by "fury and frustration", called Stafford a one-off disaster. Let's hope he's right.
Perhaps the story of Stafford's 1,200 victims will make it to the Blu-Ray edition of Sicko.
Headline reference, for the non-Malcom McDowell fans.