Tuesday, 31 July 2012

This Very Same Thing Almost Happened To My Own Father….

A healthy, active grandmother died in hospital after she was denied food and water for more than a week.
And why..?

Well, you won’t believe this, but…
Joan Pertoldi, 76, was put on a nil-by-mouth regime while she waited for a routine hip operation at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Welwyn Garden City.
Her family was told she would be operated on within 48 hours but the procedure was put off three times – twice because the prosthesis due to be inserted into the joint was not properly sterilised.
Other delays occurred because there weren’t enough staff at weekends.
And through all this, no-one thought to say ‘Hey, it’s been a while. Maybe we should feed and water her?’. 

This wasn’t (directly) a lack of resources, or money, or trained, competent staff. This was gross negligence of the highest order.

And the same thing almost happened to my father – about, ooh, ten years ago, he had an obstruction in his throat and was booked in for an endoscopy. He too was nil-by-mouth. He, too, had delays and cancellations.

Three days later, when I took my mother in to see him to find he still hadn’t been fed (and there was no sign of any planned endoscopy or urgency in the medical staff that he’d not been fed, either) we both tore a strip off the ward sister, threatened to complain via all channels available and lo and behold, he was seen to immediately.

If he hadn’t had family to do that, who knows how long he’d have lain there, starving? Since, of course he – like Mrs Pertoldi, no doubt – was of the ‘Mustn’t grumble’ generation.
The operation eventually went ahead eight days after she was admitted but, severely weakened, Mrs Pertoldi never recovered and died in hospital a few weeks later.
Oh, and it wasn’t just the starvation in her case either.
During her stay, Mrs Pertoldi was dropped by nurses on one occasion because they failed to consult physiotherapists’ notes which explained how much assistance she needed to walk.
After becoming dehydrated, Mrs Pertoldi developed a urinary infection which, the family say, lead to blood poisoning because doctors failed to tackle the problem.
She also developed a blocked bowel and contracted superbug clostridium difficile which caused her organs to fail, leading to her eventual death.
Why is this not prosecuted as corporate manslaughter?
Hertfordshire coroner, Edward Thomas has now ordered the hospital to investigate the blunders and her family are considering legal action, claiming she died due to neglect.
Why are they only ‘considering’ legal action? Come to that, why should they need to take this action themselves?

This is the true face of the glorious NHS that Boyle’s Olympic tribute failed to mention…
East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust offered ‘deepest sympathies’ to the family.
Director of nursing Angela Thompson added: ‘We now have a dedicated fractured hip unit at QEII. Since being created, we have seen a significant improvement in both the clinical quality of care as well as patients.’
What, you mean you’re remembering to feed and water them now?

Friday, 13 July 2012

Is It The Procedure At Fault, Or The People?

Kane Gorny, 22, phoned police from his bed because he was so thirsty, but nurses and doctors ignored his requests for water and he died the following day.
In a devastating verdict, deputy coroner Shirley Radcliffe said there had been a collective failing by staff at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, south London, who all refused to take responsibility for their roles.
She added that the ‘target-driven’ culture in the NHS and the European Working Hours Directive, which limits the number of hours medical staff can work, had played a part in his death.
Is that the case? Because I really don't see how someone with the normal compassion and desire to help that you would expect to see in medical staff could hide behind directives and guidelines while someone suffered and died right in front of their e...

A husband was forced to give his dying wife CPR because a lone paramedic sent to the scene could not manage on her own, it was claimed today.
Alfred Pearce, 65, and his daughter Tracey, 40, battled in vain to save Beryl Pearce after being asked by the first responder to help while she unpacked her equipment and called for back-up.
She apparently had tears in her eyes and kept saying she was 'sorry'. I don't know what about. It's unlikely she will be held truly responsinle:
Just one nurse has been demoted as a result of Mr Gorny’s death after a routine operation and the rest are still working in healthcare.
But ask yourself this; if the job you were doing would, as a result of crazy directives and hiring policies have a diametrically opposite result to the one it was supposed to have, would you continue doing it?

Because I don't think I could. Money isn't everything.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

I Don’t Really Know What To Say About This…

…but while it’s undoubtedly awful, can anyone familiar with the horror stories about NHS failures say it’s a surprise? Certainly, for those of us who have had the misfortune to experience NHS ‘care’ it’s no revelation.

But some things do still stand out in their capacity to reveal the breathtaking contempt in which the state systems hold their ‘customers’:
Following his death, a nurse allegedly inquired whether the family, from Balham, South-West London, was 'finished' and asked a matron in front of them whether she could 'bag him up'.
Miss Cronin said: 'The main doctor came out and you could tell he was really angry. He said: “You need to go and see your son. He's dying.”
The couple then found their son lying in blood and fluid-soaked sheets and a nurse came in and asked them to help her to change them.
This was the same nurse who asked if she could ‘bag up’ the body in front of the grieving relatives. And, once again, even while this PR disaster is unfolding around them, their thoughts are only of themselves:
Nurses at the hospital were said to have been offered counselling as a result of Mr Gorny's death.
Would it even work? I mean, on people so utterly devoid of normal human compassion?
The inquest continues. The case is still being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service.
I hope that’s because they are waiting until the inquest finishes, and not because there’s really a doubt in their minds that they need to take action.