Medical negligence towards the elderly is still rife

It would appear that some hospitals do not learn from their mistakes. A new report from the Care Quality Commission showed that, between 2005 and 2008 somewhere between 400 and 1200 people died in Stafford Hospital from medical negligence, abuse or neglect.

One firm of UK personal injury solicitors recently secured medical negligence compensation for 100 families who lost a loved one because of degrading treatment.

The CQC’s report showed that three English hospital trusts were not meeting basic standards in the care they provided to elderly patients. They were the Royal Free in London, Ipswich and the Worcestershire Acute.

Amongst the failings discovered were patients not receiving help with eating meals, leading to some eating nothing and a lack of fluids to drink. Hospital staff were are also found to be treating patients disrespectfully and not talking to them about their treatment.

The chair of the CQC, Jo Williams, said spot check inspections had painted a detailed picture of the standard of care given to elderly patients in English NHS hospitals. A lot of the reports showed that elderly people are cared for in the best possible way. However, in other instances elderly patients did not receive basic needs, such as help with food or drink.

The general secretary of the RCN, Dr Peter Carter, said there are some truly shocking concerns raised by this report and there is no excuse for not treating patients with respect and dignity. Medical staff should meet patients and their family’s needs, regardless of whether they are emotional, physical or social, he added.

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