Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Hospitals 'fiddling' A&E waiting times

Data from 114 NHS trusts in England found many patients faced long waits in assessment units which did not count towards the waiting time.

Over a fifth of units reported keeping patients longer than the recommended 24 hours with the average wait being 17.

Doctors agreed the system was being abused in places

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Woman's death was 'gross failure'

Gross failures and neglect contributed to the death of a grandmother-of-five after a routine procedure went wrong at a Birmingham hospital, a coroner ruled. Rosemary McFarlane, 64, died after being given a chemical that was 10 times the recommended concentration, which burned her lungs and killed her...

Source: BBC.

Given the changes that are about to happen in US health care, what do we think about the NHS?

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Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Doctors ‘sent flu girl home to die’

A GIRL of two died of suspected swine flu just a day after doctors said she had no illness, her parents have claimed.
Michelle Fernando began displaying swine flu symptoms a week after her mother Uthpala, 27, fell ill. The girl's father Rashid, 30, took her to Bristol Children's Hospital but claims doctors sent them home after telling him to give her plenty of water and Calpol to reduce her temperature. However, Michelle stopped breathing the following day. She was taken to hospital by ambulance from the family's home but was dead on arrival...
Source: The Metro

Friday, 11 December 2009

Baby ward shortages 'scandalous'

A coroner has branded midwife shortages at a hospital where a newborn baby died on an overstretched maternity ward as "nothing short of scandalous". Deputy coroner for Milton Keynes Thomas Osborne said "systems failures" led to the death of Ebony McCall.

An inquest heard the baby girl only had a faint heartbeat when she was born by Caesarean section at Milton Keynes General Hospital in May this year. Her mother, Amanda McCall, had medical conditions including cardiac disease.

A hospital spokesman said: "We are very sorry indeed for the distress and grief caused to them by the death of their daughter Ebony... Changes have already been made to the way we work to improve the safety of our maternity services..."
Source: BBC

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Tim Worstall: Equality is all.

when you look at the WHO numbers for the ranking of health care systems (rather than this OECD one) you find that the egalitarianism of the system counts for the majority of the rating. The actual effectiveness of the care amounts to only 25% of it.

Which is why the NHS does so well in the WHO rankings.

Post Comments at Tims Site.

Barnsley Hospital Foundation Trust pays £700,000 after breast blunders

Health chiefs have paid out almost £700,000 in compensation to 19 women who had botched breast surgery which left them 'feeling like freaks'.
The women, who were mostly cancer patients, suffered pain and disfigurement after Puvaneswary Markandoo performed surgery on them. Of the 19 settlements – each victim receiving about £35,000 on average – Barnsley Hospital Foundation Trust admitted negligence in 15 cases.
'She's left me a physical mess. Now I feel like a freak,' said patient Anne Bassett, who opted for reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy but ended up having nine operations which 'all went wrong'. 'Once she said, "I won't put you to sleep for this one". It was like something out of a horror film. I still keep having nightmares and wake up screaming,' added the 47-year-old from Barnsley.
Markandoo, 62, was suspended on full pay in July 2006. An inquiry by the General Medical Council later found her deficient in 11 areas, including basic surgery and working within regulations...
Source: The Metro.

Sunday, 6 December 2009


A STAGGERING 250 people are dying of starvation a year in British hospitals - a national disgrace that costs the taxpayer a whopping £7 BILLION.

Official figures show that the number of patients suffering from malnutrition in NHS hospital beds has been getting worse since Labour came to power - with a 16 per cent rise in deaths since 1997.

Hospitals estimate around 30 per cent of all their patients are malnourished when admitted, making treatment more expensive because they end up staying in hospital longer.

Patients who don't get enough nutrition are less likely to recover from major surgery and more likely to pick up hospital superbugs than those who are well fed. This results in longer stays in hospital and additional treatment that pushes up the cost of care.

Chief Nurse Dame Christine Beasley claims that £7 billion of the £15 billion a year the health service needs to save could be clawed back by attacking malnutrition.

Labour Peer Resigns Amid Hospital Scandal

Baroness Young told the Health Secretary of her decision to leave the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on November 26 - the day it sent an emergency taskforce into scandal-hit Basildon hospital.

The watchdog was subsequently branded "toothless" after a report discovered a raft of underperforming hospitals and high death rates.

Dr Foster Intelligence rated a dozen hospitals as "significantly underperforming", despite nine of them being rated good or excellent by the CQC.

Seven hospitals were also found to have considerably higher mortality rates for the past five years.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Nearly one in 10 hospital prescriptions 'have mistakes'

Nearly one in 10 hospital prescriptions contain a mistake, ranging from the minor to the potentially lethal, research has found.

But the study, commissioned by the General Medical Council, found very few errors would have caused serious harm. It also found that, contrary to belief, novice doctors were no more responsible for mistakes than the more experienced. To eliminate one area of confusion, the GMC is calling for a UK-wide standard prescription chart as exists in Wales.

The research team led by Professor Tim Dornan of the University of Manchester, examined the issue amid rising fears inexperienced doctors were making prescription errors which could, at worst, result in a patient dying...

Source: BBC

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Hospital wards break world health 'noise limits'

Hospital wards across the NHS are breaking recommended noise limits, disturbing patients' sleep, well-being and recovery, experts say.

Two separate studies found the din of chattering visitors and loud mobile phones pushed noise levels well over recommended limits.

The World Health Organization says patients should not be exposed to noise above 35 decibels or a loud whisper.

But the UK researchers frequently recorded levels of 60dB to 90bB.

Researchers at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, found noise levels on an average general medical ward exceeded 60dB most of the time, even at night.

Patient died after 30cm swab was left inside him

A cancer patient died after a 30cm (12in) medical swab was left inside him during surgery, an inquest heard.

Dennis Thompson was left with the large surgical ‘mop’ in his abdomen after an operation to remove a small tumour on his liver. It would have played a ‘significant part’ in the 73-year-old’s death, the inquest was told.

Staff knew a swab was missing but could not get an X-ray of Mr Thompson because the department was busy. Mr Thompson, from Okehampton, Devon, had more surgery to remove the swab, which would have contributed to his death, said Dr Christopher Mason, who carried out the autopsy...
Source: The Metro

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Sick baby is examined in car park

A hospital in Norfolk is to review its procedures after a baby was assessed for more than an hour in its car park.
Nine-month-old Amy Cawley was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn when she fell ill.

Staff believed Amy might have been suffering from swine flu so was checked in her parents' car for 70 minutes, but in fact she had a viral infection.

Amy's father, Ashley Cawley, said he was going to make a formal complaint to the hospital. "We didn't know what was going on, everything came as such a shock," he said, "For anybody to be left in a car at any time of the year is questionable."

Hospital spokesman Noel Scanlon said examining a child in the car park on a winter's night was "not ideal practise." He said: "We will be looking very carefully at our procedures as a consequence of this child's experience."

The hospital said it would give the Cawleys a copy of their investigation.
Source; BBC