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Nurse warned about Mid-Staffs 18 months before damning report


A nurse warned about poor clinical standards at Mid-Staffordshire hospital 18 months before a highly critical report by the Healthcare Commission sparked by soaring mortality rates at the organisation.

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, a nurse wrote to Mid Staffordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust warning of a culture of bullying.

Nurses were asked to lie about how long patients had been waiting, staff were subject to racist abuse and patients were referred to with the use of obscene language, the letters said.

Junior doctors were also bullied into discharging patients before they were properly examined in order to hit targets, the report added.

A debate in the House of Commons will today reiterate calls for a public inquiry into the case.


Readers' comments (2)

  • Yet another example of how trying to manage our hospitals like businesses simply does not work. People cannot be treated as commodities. Nurses and doctors on the ground are expected to be dedicated. In practice they endure long shifts on poor pay. Budgets and paperwork take precedence over hands-on patient care. The hierarchy in the health service needs to be trimmed down, not patient services. Moral among ordinary nursing and medical staff is at an all time low. We need rid of the fat cats creaming time and money off the NHS for their own end. This must be the worst profession for expecting employees to fill out reports in their own time because the paper trail makes care look good. I believe when I went into nursing 30 years ago PRE TRUST standards were better and form filling was a whole lot less. People might argue that the hospital regime is a lot more relaxed now compared to then but where has it gotten us? Privatisation and trust policies have resulted in inadequate domestic and laundry services as well as over use of agency nursing staff. Lets face it TRUST policies are making the rich richer and the sick sicker!

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  • I was not surprised to hear that a nurse had raised concerns about the standards of care at Mid Staffs, and unfortunately, also not surprised that the investigation into those concerns failed to look at the broader picture, but appears to have dealt with specific complaints under its disciplinary procedures where any action taken could be kept confidential.

    However l do not feel that an expensive public enquiry will provide the general public with any improved services either at Mid Staffs or any other Health facility. We have had them in the past and what good have they really done?

    Clearly the jnteral NHS systems and complaints procedures which exist are not working and it is perhaps time that the General Public and politicians pressed for an Independent NHS Complaints Authority as we have with the police. It seems to me that we have a confusing system which staff and the general public do not understand, if they do not understand it, then they are unlikely to use it.

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