From the Annals of Government Healthcare: English Hospital Report Cites ‘Appalling’ Suffering

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    Feb 09, 2013 5:31 AM GMT
    Just imagine if a private firm did this:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/07/world/europe/hospital-report-cites-appalling-suffering-in-staffordshire.html?ref=health&_r=0

    Shockingly bad care and inhumane treatment at a hospital in the Midlands led to hundreds of unnecessary deaths and stripped countless patients of their dignity and self-respect, according to a scathing report published on Wednesday.

    ¶ The report, which examined conditions at Stafford Hospital in Staffordshire over a 50-month period between 2005 and 2009, cites example after example of horrific treatment: patients left unbathed and lying in their own urine and excrement; patients left so thirsty that they drank water from vases; patients denied medication, pain relief and food by callous and overworked staff members; patients who contracted infections due to filthy conditions; and patients sent home to die after being given the wrong diagnoses.

    ¶ “This is the story of the appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people,” Robert Francis, the lawyer appointed by the government to lead the inquiry, said at a news conference.

    ¶ “They were failed by a system which ignored the warning signs and put corporate interests and cost control ahead of patients and their safety,” he added. “There was a lack of care, compassion, humanity and leadership. The most basic standards of care were not observed, and fundamental rights to dignity were not respected.”

    ¶ The report into what has been called the biggest scandal in the modern history of the health service found that many of the problems were due to the efforts of the hospital to meet health-service targets, like providing care within four hours to patients arriving at the emergency room. It also said that in its efforts to balance its books and save $16 million in 2006 and 2007 in order to achieve so-called foundation-trust status, which made it semi-independent of control by the central government, the hospital laid off too many people and focused relentlessly on external objectives rather than patient care.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14295

    Feb 09, 2013 7:14 PM GMT
    This doesn't necessarily mean that all publicly owned hospitals are providing horrendous medical care or permitting serious abuse of patients. This is just about one public hospital in the UK. Don't start with all your extremist, right wing propaganda.
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    Feb 09, 2013 7:53 PM GMT
    The ever increasing failures of Health Care in the UK, is a good study note on how long term health care is failing the people of the UK, and with the increasing aging population that it is ill equipped to deal with or care for; things or not looking good for NHS in the UK.
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    Feb 09, 2013 8:56 PM GMT
    *notices NO UK guys posting in this topic because of it's assininity*
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    Feb 09, 2013 11:05 PM GMT
    Okay, so I took the bait, but I wondered how long it would be before Riddler latched onto this story. The NHS is the world's third largest employer and it would be a miracle if things did not go wrong with it occasionally.

    Here, on the other hand, is what happens when a developed nation has to rely on private health insurance for its medical needs:

    They came in their thousands, queuing through the night to secure one of the coveted wristbands offering entry into a strange parallel universe where medical care is a free and basic right and not an expensive luxury. Some of these Americans had walked miles simply to have their blood pressure checked, some had slept in their cars in the hope of getting an eye-test or a mammogram, others had brought their children for immunisations that could end up saving their life.


    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/the-brutal-truth-about-americarsquos-healthcare-1772580.html
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    Feb 10, 2013 12:40 AM GMT
    Deplorable that the hunt for the bottom line did this...
    ...and this:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/07/business/hospital-chain-internal-reports-found-dubious-cardiac-work.html?hp
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    Feb 10, 2013 1:41 AM GMT
    The UK NHS wants the people o the UK to look after the elderlyicon_eek.gif

    families should carry out nursing duties to ease pressure on hospital staff, a controversial report demands.

    As well as feeding and washing patients relatives should be on hand to assist them to the toilet; heaven to Murgatroid.

    Such duties should be made mandatory like jury service according to founder of the think tank behind the recommendations.

    The report collated by the think tank 2020health and entitled: to posh to wash? claims nurses are finding it impossible to meet all patients needs as the number of elderly and dementia patients soars.icon_redface.gif

    Julia Manning founder of 2020health says rules should be stipulated in the NHS Constitution. making it mandatory for relatives and friends to help on the wards, unless it is impossible for them to do so. "just like jury service isn't always possible. Oh please how about hiring more nurses. Oh wait it cant aford to; because the NHS is a failing institution, because there is no such thing as free Health Care.

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    Feb 10, 2013 12:13 PM GMT
    On the European continent, particularly in Mediterranean countries, it is common for hospital patients to be cared for by relatives, who do most of the feeding and washing. Perhaps it is an example we should be following.

    Whatever its faults, overall healthcare quality in the UK still manages to rank above that in Australia (and for less expenditure per capita), so I don't think we need any lectures from our antipodean cousins on that score.

    http://www.commonwealthfund.org/usr_doc/site_docs/slideshows/MirrorMirror/MirrorMirror.html
  • seafrontbloke

    Posts: 300

    Feb 10, 2013 5:31 PM GMT
    Two points from the article above:

    Healthcare compared

    Health spending as a share of GDP
    US 16%
    UK 8.4%

    Public spending on healthcare (% of total spending on healthcare)
    US 45%
    UK 82%

    Health spending per head
    US $7,290
    UK $2,992

    Practising physicians (per 1,000 people)
    US 2.4
    UK 2.5

    Nurses (per 1,000 people)
    US 10.6
    UK 10.0

    Acute care hospital beds (per 1,000 people)
    US 2.7
    UK 2.6

    Life expectancy:
    US 78
    UK 80

    Infant mortality (per 1,000 live births)
    US 6.7
    UK 4.8


    OK, so you spend twice as much as us but get the same number of doctors and nurses, and our life expectancy is better.

    The second point:

    Christine Smith arrived at 3am in the hope of seeing a dentist for the first time since she turned 18. That was almost eight years ago. Her need is obvious and pressing: 17 of her teeth are rotten; some have large visible holes in them. She is living in constant pain and has been unable to eat solid food for several years.

    "I had a gastric bypass in 2002, but it went wrong, and stomach acid began rotting my teeth. I've had several jobs since, but none with medical insurance, so I've not been able to see a dentist to get it fixed," she told The Independent. "I've not been able to chew food for as long as I can remember. I've been living on soup, and noodles, and blending meals in a food mixer. I'm in constant pain. Normally, it would cost $5,000 to fix it. So if I have to wait a week to get treated for free, I'll do it. This will change my life."


    Please don't criticise British teeth ever again, they might not be white (they're not meant to be) or perfect but ...
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    Feb 10, 2013 5:51 PM GMT
    seafrontbloke saidTwo points from the article above:

    Healthcare compared

    Health spending as a share of GDP
    US 16%
    UK 8.4%

    Public spending on healthcare (% of total spending on healthcare)
    US 45%
    UK 82%

    Health spending per head
    US $7,290
    UK $2,992

    Practising physicians (per 1,000 people)
    US 2.4
    UK 2.5

    Nurses (per 1,000 people)
    US 10.6
    UK 10.0

    Acute care hospital beds (per 1,000 people)
    US 2.7
    UK 2.6

    Life expectancy:
    US 78
    UK 80

    Infant mortality (per 1,000 live births)
    US 6.7
    UK 4.8


    OK, so you spend twice as much as us but get the same number of doctors and nurses, and our life expectancy is better.

    The second point:

    Christine Smith arrived at 3am in the hope of seeing a dentist for the first time since she turned 18. That was almost eight years ago. Her need is obvious and pressing: 17 of her teeth are rotten; some have large visible holes in them. She is living in constant pain and has been unable to eat solid food for several years.

    "I had a gastric bypass in 2002, but it went wrong, and stomach acid began rotting my teeth. I've had several jobs since, but none with medical insurance, so I've not been able to see a dentist to get it fixed," she told The Independent. "I've not been able to chew food for as long as I can remember. I've been living on soup, and noodles, and blending meals in a food mixer. I'm in constant pain. Normally, it would cost $5,000 to fix it. So if I have to wait a week to get treated for free, I'll do it. This will change my life."


    Please don't criticise British teeth ever again, they might not be white (they're not meant to be) or perfect but ...


    So a few good examples are supposed to erase all memory of what happened at Staffordshire?

    I mean even q1w2e3's example is laughable in that there was more work done than was necessary - which is kind of a far cry from the attempt to reduce resource constraints by delivering shoddy care.

    What I find particularly galling of the advocates who point to places like the UK and Canada is that the US spends more public healthcare dollars per capita than either Canada or the UK - and gets considerably worse results. Somehow we're meant to believe that if the US government who has delivered such miserable care to date, were to get even more involved in the healthcare dollars they don't have direct responsibility over, things would magically get better.
  • seafrontbloke

    Posts: 300

    Feb 10, 2013 6:37 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    seafrontbloke said...


    So a few good examples are supposed to erase all memory of what happened at Staffordshire?

    I mean even q1w2e3's example is laughable in that there was more work done than was necessary - which is kind of a far cry from the attempt to reduce resource constraints by delivering shoddy care.

    What I find particularly galling of the advocates who point to places like the UK and Canada is that the US spends more public healthcare dollars per capita than either Canada or the UK - and gets considerably worse results. Somehow we're meant to believe that if the US government who has delivered such miserable care to date, were to get even more involved in the healthcare dollars they don't have direct responsibility over, things would magically get better.


    Indeed, the answer about Stafford isn't a question of Private v Public, but that the corporation (in this case the NHS) came before the patient. I agree, it's wrong. However, it happens in Private Care too.

    What doesn't happen in the NHS though is that 1/6th of the population have no health care at all.
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    Feb 10, 2013 7:35 PM GMT
    seafrontbloke said
    riddler78 said
    seafrontbloke said...


    So a few good examples are supposed to erase all memory of what happened at Staffordshire?

    I mean even q1w2e3's example is laughable in that there was more work done than was necessary - which is kind of a far cry from the attempt to reduce resource constraints by delivering shoddy care.

    What I find particularly galling of the advocates who point to places like the UK and Canada is that the US spends more public healthcare dollars per capita than either Canada or the UK - and gets considerably worse results. Somehow we're meant to believe that if the US government who has delivered such miserable care to date, were to get even more involved in the healthcare dollars they don't have direct responsibility over, things would magically get better.


    Indeed, the answer about Stafford isn't a question of Private v Public, but that the corporation (in this case the NHS) came before the patient. I agree, it's wrong. However, it happens in Private Care too.

    What doesn't happen in the NHS though is that 1/6th of the population have no health care at all.


    Oh I agree - there clearly have to be better answers to the problem - and I would suggest that there are. But why don't advocates of more public funding find better ways to spend the money that's there in the first place - public dollars that gets Americans considerably less than what others get while Americans pay considerably more for what they have?

    Even your stats if you multiply out, show that Americans pay more for public healthcare while as you note, 1/6 of them don't have health insurance at any given time.
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    Feb 10, 2013 11:01 PM GMT
    Do you know how much harm could come from an unnecessary heart cath or stent? The article actually documents harm done.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 10, 2013 11:35 PM GMT
    Matters of the heart are not Riddler's strong suit.
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    Feb 10, 2013 11:49 PM GMT
    Just google "nursing home horror stories" and see how many for-profit healthcare institutions have done the same negligence of patients.

    When you say my example is laughable, you simply don't understand the bigger point, which is that profit has subverted medicine in each of these cases. The English hospital has provided too little care, while the HCA hospitals have done too much (and by "care" I also include the potential real harms that come with such care), all because of the bottom line. This can happen in any healthcare setting, either for profit or governmental.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Feb 10, 2013 11:57 PM GMT

    Instead of trolling the rightwing annals for British Healthcare horror stories
    why don't you waltz yourself over to a city hospital and spend the night icon_rolleyes.gif

    Earth to rightwing deaf ears .... WE HAVE THE WORST HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN THE FREE WORLD
    Millions of people here are uninsured and cannot access any healthcare at all
    and people are Dying ... yes dying because of our healthcare

    So post away .... the fact still remains America's healthcare system is the worst that any amount of money can buy
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    Feb 11, 2013 1:53 PM GMT
    GQjock said
    Instead of trolling the rightwing annals for British Healthcare horror stories
    why don't you waltz yourself over to a city hospital and spend the night icon_rolleyes.gif

    Earth to rightwing deaf ears .... WE HAVE THE WORST HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN THE FREE WORLD
    Millions of people here are uninsured and cannot access any healthcare at all
    and people are Dying ... yes dying because of our healthcare

    So post away .... the fact still remains America's healthcare system is the worst that any amount of money can buy


    And people are dying because of the waiting times and care restricted by resource constraints elsewhere - the US has a dysfunctional system, but the worst?
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    Feb 11, 2013 1:54 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidDo you know how much harm could come from an unnecessary heart cath or stent? The article actually documents harm done.


    Now look at the recourse options to patients within the private versus public system. Look at the alternatives available to patients/consumers of healthcare. Yes, it's so much more compassionate to force people to take healthcare in a one size fits all model?
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    Feb 11, 2013 11:35 PM GMT
    riddler78 said the US has a dysfunctional system, but the worst?


    No, just one of the worst.

    http://www.commonwealthfund.org/usr_doc/site_docs/slideshows/MirrorMirror/MirrorMirror.html
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 12, 2013 3:08 AM GMT
    GQjock said
    Instead of trolling the rightwing annals for British Healthcare horror stories
    why don't you waltz yourself over to a city hospital and spend the night icon_rolleyes.gif

    Earth to rightwing deaf ears .... WE HAVE THE WORST HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN THE FREE WORLD
    Millions of people here are uninsured and cannot access any healthcare at all
    and people are Dying ... yes dying because of our healthcare

    So post away .... the fact still remains America's healthcare system is the worst that any amount of money can buy


    Pure hysteria. And LIES. Anywhere in the world healthcare is decent or better is because of AMERICA and the profit motive, not some panel of supposedly benevolent bureaucrats wasting taxpayer's money. And that is exactly what will ruin it.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14295

    Feb 12, 2013 4:25 PM GMT
    Ex_Mil8 saidMatters of the heart are not Riddler's strong suit.
    Knowing how to think is not Riddler's strong suit as evidenced by all his extremist right wing posturing.
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    Feb 12, 2013 6:04 PM GMT
    Blakes7 said

    Pure hysteria. And LIES. Anywhere in the world healthcare is decent or better is because of AMERICA and the profit motive, not some panel of supposedly benevolent bureaucrats wasting taxpayer's money. And that is exactly what will ruin it.


    And high quality US healthcare is open to all, like the Ritz Hotel. Its quality does not make it any more accessible.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2603

    Feb 13, 2013 4:26 PM GMT
    It`s quite remarkable how much Americans spend on healthcare and what a poor deal they get in return.
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    Feb 13, 2013 6:50 PM GMT
    Lincsbear saidIt`s quite remarkable how much Americans spend on healthcare and what a poor deal they get in return.
    That it is.