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Poor care cases represent 'tragic wake-up call', says patient group

A report giving examples of substandard care in hospitals and care homes is calling for changes to be made to the health service.

The Patients Association had produced the Patient Stories report every year since 2009 to give examples about some of the issues people contact the organisation’s helpline about.

This year’s publication - “Stories from the present, lessons for the future” - includes 13 recollections from patients or their family members about negative experiences they have had in British hospitals and care homes.

Now some trusts are working with the Patients Association to look at ways in which care has not been satisfactory and what improvements can be made.

The association is urging those who work in hospitals and care homes to make preserving a patient’s dignity and showing them compassion a top priority. The organisation wants to work with health professionals to spread best practice.

Since last year, it has been asking hospital trusts to join its care campaign by pledging to improve standards in key areas such as talking to and listening to patients and their loved ones and helping them with sensitive issues like going to the toilet.

The Patients Association also works with the Care Quality Commission, which is publishing its State of Care report tomorrow, which will give details of whether national standards are being met.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “Whilst there is a lot to be proud of about the NHS, including the overwhelming majority of staff who are skilled and hard-working, these cases are a tragic wake-up call for those in Westminster as well as on hospital wards.”

Royal College of Nursing chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter said: “”Where poor care does exist, there are often systematic reasons behind it. A key part of the RCN’s ‘This is Nursing’ campaign, which launched earlier this year, is to examine what these factors are and how they can be tackled.

“We are committed to working with healthcare organisations across the UK to tackle these challenges and ensure patients received the best possible care.”

NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar said: “Improving dignified care is everyone’s responsibility, from ward staff right up to board level.

“It starts by developing the right culture and leadership in an organisation, and that happens by management walking the wards on a regular basis, and by board members encouraging frank and honest feedback from patients and staff.”

Readers' comments (4)

  • There are endless wake-up calls, so it must be concluded that the sleeper is stone deaf, I think.

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  • another post about the obvious problems.

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  • Who is the sleeper - I think that we all are.

    We all (and I mean all nurses and the public) have a duty to challenge and keep challenging this appalling quality of practice.

    Neglect is abuse and contravention of the code of practice. Where is the fast track system to suspension and striking off.
    I watched a programme the other day (Exposure on ITV.com) about the appalling treatment of an older person who died of neglect of his diabetes when he was in Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth. And yet the family, who are articulate and knowledgeable about health matters still have not been told the nurses involved and there is an Ombudsman report to support their findings.
    The Health Minister in Wales (who never takes questions!!) did not want to comment for the TV.
    The family cannot report a nurse to the NMC (and no one else including the Hospital have) as they do not have a name.

    No one, including the Health Minister and the NHS Wales CEO seems to be taking responsibility for this appalling case.
    So - maybe get rid of the Director of Nursing, who actually was the Senior Nurse at the time, as that would refine minds. If they can't find the name of the nurses then they are ultimately responsible.

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  • More 'lessons learned' platitudes and back to blaming the nurses then?

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