Saturday 15 September 2012

I Look Forward To The Outrage….

So, for the last few months, we’ve been regaled with stories from disability campaigners warning that ‘the vicious Tory government cuts’ were driving the population to despise the disabled, regard them all as ‘scroungers’ and abuse them in the street.

Turns out, though, the biggest danger was our ‘world class NHS’:
An NHS hospital is being sued by a family who say doctors placed a "do not resuscitate" order on their relative, denying him potentially life-saving treatment, because he has Down's syndrome.
The unnamed family are bringing a legal challenge against a hospital in Kent where a doctor apparently decided staff should make no attempt to resuscitate the patient if he suffered cardiac or respiratory arrest, on the basis of his disability.
No, they didn’t discuss any of this with the family, as they should have done, nor with the patient either. They just went ahead and did it.

Because, *shrug* he’s not a real person, is he?

Not that they wouldn’t be quite happy to do it to your grandmother or your child, too.
East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust said it could not comment on the case for legal reasons, but said it had "put a great deal in place in recent years to meet the needs of vulnerable patients" and had signed up to the Mencap charity's "Getting it right" charter on helping those with learning disability.
I wonder what it is they think ‘Getting It Right’ actually means..?

And are we going to see the disability rights campaigns switch focus? Maybe start chaining themselves to ambulances instead of buses?

Obstructing A&E departments, rather than benefits offices?

If not…why not?

Thursday 2 August 2012

Everyone’s At Fault, No-one’s To Blame…

The court heard Melody's two friends, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Port, frantically tried to get help when the attack began on October 12, 2010, but neither had a mobile phone.
Instead, the pair took the decision to drive her to hospital. On the way to the city centre hospital, Melody was in 'severe distress' as she held her head out of the window battling for air. She even tried to get out of the vehicle in panic.
When they arrived at the hospital car park in Mount Vernon, Grace ran into the reception to plead for help for her stricken friend.
As you would. I mean, here you are, at a hospital, run by that wonder of the world - the NHS - that Michael Moore has told all your countrymen should be replicated in your own country immediately.

You’re saved, right? You’re in the right place!

The medical student was told she had to call 999 and despite her screams of dismay was turned back to the car, where Elizabeth was supporting 'swaying' Melody to the entrance.
She collapsed before reaching the door and an ambulance arrived to take her the few yards to the A&E department.
But it’s not the fault of the NHS! Perish the thought:
…Liverpool Coroner’s Court heard the decision to take Melody to the hospital by car rather than call paramedics 'was the wrong one' and the coroner said he would not attach 'culpability' to the NHS.
And yet…
The hospital has since reviewed its policy for responding to medical emergencies within the hospital grounds.
Hmmm. They aren’t at fault. The coroner said so. Why change?

And…who is at fault, if anyone?
Mr Rebello told the court of the findings presented in the report by Dr Taggart, who claimed that the 'decision to put Melody in the car was the wrong one'.
He continued: 'Paramedics carry the appropriate equipment in case of an asthma attack of this nature and calling 999 would mean the medicine is brought to them.' Similarly, the findings from Dr Good stated that 'lack of awareness' was a factor in deaths caused by asthma attacks.
Dr Good wrote: 'The decision to travel by car is a common factor in deaths through asthma attacks.
'At the time of arrival, she was one to two minutes from respiratory arrest and no amount of emergency care would have saved her.'
So, it’s the fault of her two friends. Right?

Nope. Not really them, either:
Tearful Mr Davis asked the coroner if staff at the Royal Liverpool Hospital were at fault, but Mr Rebello said he would not to attach 'culpability' to the NHS.
He also told the grieving father, who lives with his wife Dorothea in San Jose, that Melody’s friends acted in her best interests.
Mr Rebello told Melody’s father: 'I am sure you would have liked attention to have been given in a different way when Melody arrived at the hospital.
'But the experts say that was not causative to her death.
'I’m hoping that the tragedy and upset you have suffered will enable other parents to take heed of the advice and to phone 999.
'In that way Melody’s death would not have been in vain.'
Seems like it was in vain to me…

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.

Friday 25 May 2012

Oh, You're Wrong., It IS A Freak Show...

Large dust sheets and tarpaulins were put up outside her home in Aberdare, South Wales, so the operation could be conducted in private.
'This is not a freak show,' said a police officer.
Builders had to remove a window before tearing down an external and internal wall to free Miss Davis from her semi-detached council house. Scaffolding and a makeshift bridge were used to move her safely, and while there was a crane on site, it is not thought it was used to lift her.
Residents said the operation to move Miss Davis began just after 9am, and she was seen leaving the scene in an ambulance just after 5pm.
The cost of the operation – involving police, fire service and ambulance crews – is likely to run into tens of thousands of pounds to cover manpower, plus the emergency call-out and the reconstruction of the demolished walls.
...but the freak isn't young Georgia Davies, but the grotesque priorities of the NHS itself. The NHS happy to sit idly by as her carers slowly kill her as assuredly as if they were beating her daily:
In August 2008, a 33st Georgia was told by doctors to 'lose 20 stones or die'.
Spurred into action, Georgia attended a £3,600-a-month Wellspring diet academy in the US for nine months, during which time she shrank to 18st and beat her Type 2 diabetes. She was seen by behavioural coaches, food psychologists and fitness trainers and encouraged to walk 10,000 steps every day.
She returned to the UK in June 2009 to look after her mother who has a heart condition.
But she reverted to old habits when she returned home.
'When I arrived my mum said she hadn't had time to prepare any healthy food so we had fish and chips instead,' she said. 'For that moment on, I had a niggling feeling that things weren't going to work out.'
Yet which, while it's happy to leap into action once things reach critical mass, and free her from her prison with all the care of Seaworld staff assisting a stranded fin whale, it's strangely blasé about ensuring that patients already in their care don't starve to death, that they don't die through neglect and incompetence, that patients are properly diagnosed in the first place.

Yes, there's a freak show here, all right.

Thursday 10 May 2012

Patient’s corpse was left unnoticed in hospital car park for 2 days

From The Metro:

The 79-year-old man’s corpse was found in his car by an attendant patrolling the area.
He had driven to the hospital for an appointment on Thursday last week but was not discovered until shortly after 11am on Saturday.

His Ford Fiesta was parked in a disabled parking area and a hospital spokesman said, although this was regularly patrolled, it was not unusual for cars to remain for a longer period of time without raising suspicion.

‘Contrary to information printed in some media, the gentleman was not slumped across the steering wheel of the car,’ the spokesman added. ‘All CCTV has been passed to the police and, therefore, we cannot say with any certainty how long he had been in his car.’

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, Devon, but say they are not treating it as suspicious ‘at this time’. The deceased is believed to have been from the Leigham area of the city and his next of kin has been informed.

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust said the man was not visible to anyone walking past. When he was found near the outpatients department, the trust’s emergency response team attended before paramedics and police were called. Car park operator Vinci Park UK has yet to comment.