Monday, 22 November 2010

Inquiry Hears Of 'Utter Neglect' At Hospital

A woman has told how a "callous" doctor said her sick mother would not be resuscitated and suffer a painful death at Stafford Hospital.

The families of people who died at the hospital have started giving evidence at the public inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire Trust.

The inquiry is looking into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of up to 1,200 people.

An earlier independent inquiry accused management of putting cost-cutting above patient care.

Julie Bailey described conditions on her mother's ward as "bedlam" and "utter chaos".

"People were screaming in pain: 'Nurse, nurse'," she said.

"It was just total and utter neglect of vulnerable people, night after night people crying out.

"Some with eyes crusted up, mouths bleeding. My mum asked me to call the police."

Ms Bailey's mother Bella died at the hospital in 2007 at the age of 86.

At one stage, Ms Bailey was taken aside by a doctor and told: "It is likely she will die over the weekend.

"He said, 'It will be a painful death and she will die just like that', and snapped his fingers. There would be no resuscitation."

Ms Bailey went on: "I couldn't believe how callous he was and how he was speaking.

"It was such chaos that I feared for my own life as well as my mother's. There was no control."

It was just total and utter neglect of vulnerable people, night after night people crying out.

Ms Bailey described how conditions were worse at weekends and on several occasions she saw people drinking out of flower vases.

She complained about it and was told that water jugs had to be taken away and washed overnight for health and safety reasons.

Ms Bailey was one of the leading campaigners in bringing about the public inquiry, which could sit well into the middle of next year.

A previous report concluded that between 2005 and 2008 at least 400 patients died unnecessarily - but it could have been as many as 1,200.

The main aim of the inquiry is to examine why regulatory and supervisory agencies allowed "appalling" care to go on for so long.

Source: Sky News

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