Government-run health care

The worst thing about the routine cruelty that so often seems to characterize the British NHS aren’t the outrages. The worst thing is how NHS outrages hardly even seem remarkable any more. In the latest set of outrages:

Alexandra Hospital in Redditch is writing to 38 families after a massive legal action that exposed years of bad practice, ranging from nurses taunting patients to leaving an elderly woman unwashed for 11 weeks. In one of the worst cases, a man had starvation recorded as the cause of his death after being treated at the hospital for two months. . .

The move will serve to intensify debate on why some nurses and doctors are treating patients without compassion, and will add weight to the warning by [Health Secretary] Mr Hunt that patients can experience “coldness, resentment, indifference” and “even contempt” in NHS hospitals. He warned that in the worst institutions, a “normalisation of cruelty” had been fostered. . .

The catalogue of failings uncovered by the mass legal action is one of the worst ever exposed at an NHS hospital. It included:
• A former nurse whose son told how she died after being left unwashed for 11 weeks, and was put on medication so powerful that she could not speak;
• A 35-year-old father-of-four whose family told how he wasted away because staff did not know how to fit a feeding tube;
• A pensioner who was left screaming in pain when his ribs were broken during a botched attempt to hoist him;
• A man who could not feed himself whose daughter described how he was taunted by nurses who took away his food uneaten;
• A great-grandmother left permanently unable to walk after doctors failed to detect a hip fracture.

Particularly worthy of note, I think, is the case where nurses put food out of the patient’s reach and then taunted him.

(Via Power Line.)

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