According to a newly published report, elderly NHS patients are being regularly victimised by instances of medical negligence.
Ten patients experienced unnecessary levels of distress, humiliation, and pain whilst in hospital according to several investigations launched by the Health Service Ombudsman. Many victims have since consulted with personal injury solicitors to pursue compensation claims.
One advanced stomach cancer patient had been left on his own for hours before being found by his daughter. The man, who had been specific in his desire to die with dignity in his own home, was unable to call for assistance due to his severe dehydration.
In another example that have gotten medical negligence solicitors up in arms, one woman suffered a number of falls while under NHS care after being taken to hospital after a trip. The patient suffered a broken collarbone, yet her only relative was not informed of the injury. The unfortunate patient was then taken to a care home. Upon arrival she was found to be dressed in ill-fitting clothes held together by flimsy paper clips and soaked in urine.
Older patients and their families have a reasonable expectation of having pain-free and dignified end of life care in clean hospital surroundings, stated the Ombudsman. However these expectations are not being met; in fact NHS provisions were found to be negligent in meeting even the most fundamental standards of care, the Ombudsman added.
Many of the incidents recounted in the report were called harrowing by the Health Ombudsman.
One medical negligence expert recently commented on the investigation findings, stating that millions of patients in the UK are given access to free care by the NHS, a health service that has been admired worldwide. However the expert added that the shocking reports suggest that there are a significant number of patients that have continually been let down by the institution.