DAMNING reports on the state of the National Health Service, suppressed by the government, reveal how patients’ needs have been neglected.One must wonder at the pointlessness of a Labour Lord commissioning reports if his own party then contrives to hide unfavourable conclusions.
They diagnose a blind pursuit of political and managerial targets as the root cause of a string of hospital scandals that have cost thousands of lives.
One report, based on the advice of almost 200 top managers and doctors, says hospitals ignored basic hygiene to cram in patients to meet waiting-time targets.
It says “several interviewees” cited the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells [NHS Trust in Kent where 269 deaths during 2005-6 were caused by infection with Clostridium difficile bacteria].
“Managers crowded in patients in order to meet waiting-time targets and, in the process, lost sight of the fundamental hygiene requirements for infection prevention,” the report stated.
There were subsequent failings at health trusts in Basildon in Essex, and Mid Staffordshire. Filthy wards and nurse shortages led to up to 1,200 deaths at Stafford hospital.
Lord Darzi, the former health minister, commissioned the three reports from international consultancies to assess the progress of the NHS as it approached its 60th anniversary in 2008. They have come to light after a freedom of information request.
Source: The Times