health care

UK Government Hospitals Slammed for Poor Patient Care

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Credit: flickr.com

Britain's National Health Service has come under intense criticism after a review of the public sector corporations, known as hospital trusts, responsible for the management of hospitals. The review in England led by Professor Bruce Keogh, National Health Service England's medical director, found systemic failures in 11 out of the 14 trusts investigated. The review came in response to the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal, in which hundreds of patients died due to a lack of basic care.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told MPs, "No statistics are perfect but mortality rates suggest that since 2005, thousands more people may have died than would normally be expected at the 14 trusts reviewed. Worryingly, in half of those trusts, the Care Quality Commission — the regulator specifically responsible for patient safety and care — failed to spot any real cause for concern, rating them as 'compliant' with basic standards."

These findings must have taken Mr. Hunt by surprise, since he previously described the U.K.'s socialised healthcare system in nothing less than the most sycophantically uncritical tones, "In 65 years, the NHS has quite simply done more to improve people's lives that any other institution in our history, and its equity and excellence make us the envy of the world." The report will certainly be leaving foreign observers wondering what on earth they are supposed to be envying.

From the BBC:

Mr Hunt set out a detailed breakdown of the problems identified at the individual trusts, but among the common themes listed were:

• Patients being left on trolleys, unmonitored for excessive periods and then being talked down to by consultants

• Poor maintenance in operating theatres, potentially putting patients in danger

• Patients often beingmoved repeatedly between wards without being told why

• Staff working for 12 days in a row without a break

• Backlogs in complaints

• A patient inappropriately exposed where there were both male and female patients present

• Low levels of clinical cover—especially out of hours

• Hospital boards being unaware of potential problems, including a spate of stillbirths

In response to the findings, 11 of the 14 hospital trusts are to be put into "special measures" which includes experts to be sent to work with senior management to rectify the problems. In total, the trusts that were investigated are responsible for 19 acute hospitals. Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson once said that the NHS was "the nearest thing the English have to a religion." Perhaps after the recent tragedy at Mid Staffordshire hospital, and Professor Keogh's report, the English will begin take a more skeptical attitude toward the national faith.

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  1. n response to the findings, 11 of the 14 hospital trusts are to be put into “special measures” which includes experts to be sent to work with senior management to rectify the problems.

    Obviously, it’s just the wrong Top Men in charge. This time it’ll be different, promise.

  2. Perhaps after the recent tragedy at Mid Staffordshire hospital, and Professor Keogh’s report, the English will begin take a more skeptical attitude toward the national faith.

    You would think so, but I doubt it. British leftists are even more fucked up in the head than the ones here in America, and the disease of socialism is deeply entrenched among a much higher percentage of the people over there.

    1. Having lived in the UK for a few years, I can tell you it isn’t just “British leftists”… pretty much everyone has bought the government-run health care line, even if they oppose socialism in other industries, because health care is just special somehow.

      I observe this here in Canada as well.

      1. Wasn’t it the case up until 15 or 20 years ago that if you wanted to take care of your health care needs yourself outside of the government system you had to go into exile, because there was no private health care in Canada?

      2. Well, duh, it’s “free.”

        Of course, you get what you pay for.

        1. “Of course, you get what you pay for.”

          Well, not always.

      3. Yep, Enoch Powell was even on board.

      4. I observe this here in Canada as well.

        My understanding is that there is a slowly increasing movement in Canada to actually go in the opposite direction of more privatization.

        1. Not that I can see in BC or at the federal level.

          I mean, a First Nations proposes to build a private hospital, and experts believe it is likely “unconstitutional” to do so… so, we’re fucked.

          1. Canadians get the language right. ‘First Nations’ and ‘Indigenous Americans’ is accurate with common usage over the centuries; whereas, here we abuse words for the sake of political correctness like they were our bitches. ‘Native’ when misapplied makes me just wanna go on a shopping spree. Purchase something like a bottle of expensive cologne to make me forget what mendacious little minds are in control here.

  3. The assholes in charge of the British Govt at the outset of WW-I, the guys who largely socialized it and started a century of flirtation with socialism, did more damage than the Kaiser could have dreamed of doing with all his armies.

  4. You can bet, in a government system, if an official report shows problems that they are just the tip of the iceberg. I can only imagine the horrible things hidden from those doing research for the report.

    This is not conjecture. I worked in a state system.

    1. It is like the stories about Johnny Manzel partying and being too hungover to work the Manning passing camp. It is not that the story is that bad. It is that when you consider how much colleges cover up the misdeeds of their star athletes, how much other stuff must there be for this to get out?

      1. I figure Manziel was just so repulsed by the Fivehead that this was the only thing he could do.

    2. You can bet, in a government system, if an official report shows problems that they are just the tip of the iceberg.

      Well, you won this thread quickly enough.

    3. Aah! I see you have the machine that goes ‘ping’. This is my favorite. You see, we lease this back from the company we sold it to, and that way, it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account

  5. “the nearest thing the English have to a religion.”

    If this is true, then the Scots are fundamentalists.

  6. Patients often being moved repeatedly between wards without being told why

    “You’re getting better.”

    Low levels of clinical cover

    “Bugger! I bumped my bloody ‘head *again*!”

  7. But it’s FREEEEeeeeee /man falling off mountain

  8. Hospital boards being unaware of potential problems, including a spate of stillbirths

    But those babies weren’t dead, they were just resting. Or pining for the fjords.

    1. They likely weren’t babies to begin with?not, at least, to those tabulating infant mortality in the UK.

  9. A health system run exactly as well as the local DMV. Who could possibly object to that?

  10. You’re not going to find many people who aren’t American libertarians or Republicans who oppose socialized medicine.

    1. Gladstone| 7.16.13 @ 5:17PM |#
      “You’re not going to find many people who aren’t American libertarians or Republicans who oppose socialized medicine”

      Well, an ex-pat Cdn MD acquaintance is no longer in love with it; he’s trying to get care for his mother who’s still in Canada.
      Not “many” but one more than a year or so ago.

  11. Wait until you read through the audit result of Liverpool Care Pathway (otherwise known as Death Panel), whereby thousands of patient are deliberately starved and dehydrated to death in a dignified matter, all the while shoot up with narcotics. It’s the kind if dignity that we can all strived for from DMV.

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