Saturday 26 February 2011

'The staff didn’t seem to think it was that unusual, they said it happens a lot.'

Frances Randall, 21, had been waiting for three hours to be moved to a maternity ward when her baby arrived as her partner and mother desperately looked for help.

He was delivered by a stranger in the room, but fell to the floor and hit his head.
I know the hospital well - it's a £238 million disaster area.
The woman who came to her aid, Kiran Deep Virdee, 52, added: ‘It is disgusting that in this country she had to give birth on a chair. She was given no dignity.’
You thought you were in a First World country, didn't you? You were wrong, at least when it comes to Queen's Hospital...

This isn't their first maternity-related screw-up, after all:
Queen’s Hospital’s head of midwifery, Sue Lovell, apologised for the latest incident and said a new triage system was being introduced.

‘When labouring women arrive they will be seen immediately by a midwife and moved straight to the most appropriate area, whether that be the labour ward or ante-natal,’ she said.

‘This will eliminate the need for women to stay in waiting areas.’
It didn't occur to you to do this before..?

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Patient Opinion report released today.

New report released today

In their own words: What patients have been saying about health services over the past 5 years

Read or download the report here (PDF)

Sunday 20 February 2011

Foreign nurses will be able to work here with just TWO days' testing in EU shake-up

Poorly-trained foreign nurses will be allowed to work in Britain after completing only two days of role playing and multiple choice tests. The short course replaces the rigorous assessments and exams currently undertaken by those failing to meet NHS standards. To work on wards, nurses are likely to need to show only their skills on dummies, with no requirement to speak good English.

The shake-up is being imposed by the European Union, which says tests on foreign workers go against its freedom of movement laws. Senior health officials fear the multiple choice assessments, which will begin in April, will be unrealistic and too easy.

Under the existing rules, any EU nurse whose training is deemed substandard must go on an intensive adaptation programme lasting up to six months before they can work in UK hospitals. The courses, which can cost up to £1,500, are run by universities and consist of theory tests, written coursework and practical exams in wards or nursing homes. Although not directly assessed on their English, candidates would struggle to pass without good language skills. The regime is so strict that only a quarter of the 8,000 EU nurses who apply to work in the UK every year see the process through. Most are put off by the cost and difficulty of making the grade.

Those not up to scratch largely come from states relatively new to the EU such as Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Estonia and Latvia. The new tests are being drawn up by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. It is understood they will involve multiple choice, role plays and demonstrations on dummy patients – and may last just two days.
Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: ‘These multiple choice tests will be far too simple.

‘This is giving patient safety no priority. How can nurses’ ability to carry out drug calculations and all the other skills required on the ward be assessed in a multiple choice test? It’s disgraceful that this is allowed to happen.’
John Lister, director of campaign group London Health Emergency, said: ‘This is a retrograde step and this is something the NMC should be challenging in court.’ The council is being forced to take action after being threatened with lawsuits by Bulgarian nurses who claimed it was too difficult to register to work in Britain.
The EU has also blocked rigorous checks on foreign GPs who want to work here. This had disastrous results in 2008 when engineer David Gray died at the hands of German locum Daniel Ubani, who gave him ten times the normal dose of diamorphine.

Mr Gray’s son Stuart, who is a GP in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, said: ‘It’s a ludicrous system. The NHS is a very different to other countries’ health systems and people need training before they can practise here.’
Nurses from countries outside the EU will still face stringent tests.
The NHS relies on foreign nurses and in the past decade more than 90,000 have registered to work in the UK, mainly from the Philippines, Australia, India and South Africa.
Relaxing the entry requirements for EU nurses is likely to see an influx of nurses who had felt it too much trouble to work in Britain.

A spokesman for the Nursing and Midwifery Council said: ‘The test will ensure that EU-trained nurses are able to meet the same standards that we require of nurses who trained in the UK.’ A Department of Health spokesman said foreign healthcare professionals would need to pass robust language and competency tests.

Monday 14 February 2011

Student lay dying yards from hospital gates after receptionist told friend 'ring an ambulance'

Melody Davis, 20, was driven to the Royal Liverpool Hospital but the car got stuck in a car park on nearby Mount Vernon Street because a barrier was blocking the way.

Her friend rushed into the reception area on foot for help as Miss Davis's asthma attack worsened, but was told to call an ambulance. By the time she returned to the car, the Liverpool University student had collapsed. She later died at the Royal.

Liverpool's coroner, Andre Rebello, asked Merseyside Police to investigate the incident because of the chance more prompt treatment may have saved her...
Source: Daily Mail.

Friday 11 February 2011

Healthy baby boy dies of pneumonia after 'being placed in broken incubator with Do Not Use sticker'

The 15-day-old boy was allegedly put in an incubator which had a "Do Not Use" sticker on it in the busy ward.

Health watchdogs revealed the boy was born 'perfect in every way' in the hospital before being sent home with his mother. But the mother and baby were readmitted more than a week later because she was suffering from a chest infection.

The mother, who hasn't been named, was being treated by doctors while the baby was put in the incubator which allegedly failed to keep him warm enough. The baby died from a chronic case of pneumonia at the giant 550-bed Singleton Hospital in Swansea, South Wales.

Patients watchdogs at the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Community Health Council in Swansea confirmed the complaint had been received from the heartbroken mother about her baby's death.

A report from the health council said: 'The post mortem revealed the baby was perfect in every way but died from massive bilateral bronchopneumonia.'
Source: Daily Mail

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Colchester Hospital vs Military Hospital

Sapper Ashley-James Hall, 20, whose legs were blown off in a bomb blast in Afghanistan, was being treated in Colchester General Hospital for suspected meningitis.

He is now being treated in isolation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where injured troops are cared for.

He still has open wounds from the explosion and has contracted a bacterial infection in his legs.

According to the family, the infection is similar to MRSA and means he must be kept in isolation. However, staff at Colchester General Hospital wanted to put him back on a general ward.
Dad Stephen said: “He has got an infection in his legs and it was felt by us the hospital could not deal with his injuries. So he discharged himself.

“Military care is better than the NHS. You ask for something to be done on the NHS and it takes hours.”
If it happens at all, that is.
Mr Hall said: “At Colchester one set of doctors tells you one thing, then another set say something different.

“Ashley was not happy with his care.

“Ashley has an Afghan bug similar to MRSA, but they were trying to put him in with the general public on a general ward.

“We were having to shout and scream at them.

“He is in an infection control ward in Birmingham.

“Colchester doesn’t have the same medical facilities. We were dealing with new doctors all the time. It was just appalling.”
The family have angered the hospital by going to the media.

A hospital trust spokescreature whines:
Mark Prentice, a spokesman for Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are disappointed that Mr Stephen Hall has concerns about the care given to his son Ashley-James but also that he has chosen to raise them directly with the media and not with us.

“We would urge him to contact the trust as soon as possible so that we can thoroughly investigate and report back to him.”
And will you find that their concerns are well-founded in that investigation?
“As a result of Mr Hall contacting the Gazette, we have carried out a brief, preliminary investigation which indicates that the care given to Ashley-James was entirely appropriate at all times during his recent stay on the emergency assessment unit at Colchester General Hospital.”
That’ll probably be a ‘no’ then…

Friday 4 February 2011

This Is What Happens When You Introduce Choice To The NHS…

Patients losing faith in Basildon Hospital and opting to go elsewhere for treatment has partly caused a NHS £43million overspend.
It seems the patients are opting out because, well, read for yourself:
It has emerged that part of the reason for NHS South West Essex’s colossal cash woes are because more patients last year refused treatment at Basildon, due to concerns over the standard of treatment they would receive.
A bit of an awkward PR situation for the trust?
Barbara Stuttle, director of quality and nursing for the trust, admitted this was a reason, as under Government rules a trust has to pay a penalty tariff if a patient wants to go to a hospital further away.

Mrs Stuttle said: “Yes, that was a factor in the sense that a lot people opted to go to Southend instead of Basildon, and in particular London hospitals, which has a much higher tariff. But Basildon is improving. Let’s put that straight.”
It’ll have to improve quite a lot…
A former nurse who died on Basildon Hospital’s diabetic ward was deprived of insulin for nine hours because her syringe driver was not connected.
Staff on the Mary Seacole ward (Ed: that’s the priority, in the modern NHS – not patients, of course, but ‘diversity’ and political correctness) did not realise the syringe, supposed to be administering insulin to diabetes sufferer Luz Tacon, 61, wasn’t connected until an hour after her death, because it was under her blanket.
In fact, it was a catalogue of errors from start to finish:
Commenting on the breakdown of communication between staff in intensive care and the ward, the report said: “The handover to the late staff was very sparseno clinical/nursing information was given to the night staff, they only knew a patient was coming later.

“Allegedly, the night nurse was told to look in the handover book that is kept on the ward. This stated that patient Luz Tacon had a sliding scale of insulin.

“On questioning the night nurse, she confirmed she does not generally look in the handover book.”
And that’s why choice is the most important thing to bring to the NHS.

Because when patients can vote with their feet, these actions have consequences.