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The Times - Hospital under attack over 'painful, degrading deaths'

A CORONER has criticised a hospital for offering “despicable” and chaotic treatment after hearing that four elderly patients died in painful and degrading circumstances.... He condemned as “absolutely despicable” the treatment of Watkins Davies, an 84-year-old war veteran, who went into hospital with a fractured hip and contracted MRSA, the hospital superbug, The inquest was told that Mr Watkins, a widower, was the victim of a catalogue of failures in basic nursing care. When he fell out of his chair, while trying to wash himself, no X-ray was carried out to assess any additional injuries.His family claim that he was left to lie in his own waste and was in severe pain for hours because of shortages in nursing staff. His meals were left up to 6ft out of his reach.....
....Mrs Douglas, a voluntary worker from Droyls- den, near Manchester,.. broke her hip when she fell from a hospital trolley without sides. There was no record of the fall.

Edward Douglas, her son, said: “There was one nurse per three beds and the nurse said she could not cope.” He said that medication had been left on the floor.

Recording a verdict of death by natural causes, the coroner said he found this astonishing. “What if that had been vital medication?” he asked. “It is absolutely chaotic.”

A third inquest heard that Raymond Lees, from Ashton-under-Lyne, who died in May, contracted MRSA after undergoing a knee replacement operation. During his time in the hospital his waist shrank by 14 inches.

John Lees, his son, said that it had taken him three hours to discover that his father had not been bathed and that hospital staff did not appear to know his name.

“The nurse said, ‘He gets himself up, dresses himself and does his own teeth’,” Mr Lees said. “In fact, he was wearing the same pyjamas he had been wearing for three days. The nurse was cruel and cynical.”

A fourth inquest was told that James Kelly, a pensioner from Stalybridge, Tameside, was recovering from surgery but died from pneumonia after he was left sitting in his dressing gown in a draught.

Mr Pollard said: “In most of the issues, the nursing care, not the operations or the general medical staff, but the basic care of people, has been in question.....

Andrew Burnham, a Health Minister, said: “I understand that the hospital trust has in place a range of measures to ensure that patients receive the high-quality nursing care they have every right to expect.

In 2000 Prime Minister Tony Blair launched a reform programme for the NHS in England that he believed would once again make it "the healthcare system the world most envies."


Clearly the staff are starving patients to death. Sound like Murder and police should investigate - after persecuting children, christians and 80yr old hecklers.

Everyone gets old. This is your future under Labour.

Nice to see our extra billions of stolen cash have been well spent.

I'd like to say this shocks me but having seen the "care" that my mother received at a "premiere" intermediate care centre I'm sad to say i'm not.

The level of cynicism in the NHS is frightening - finding my mother unable to move in her own waste and without water for 3 hours I complained politely with a staggering level of restraint... I was immediately told that such behaviour would not be tolerated and please would I leave the unit!

Only threatening to provide access to the local press did anything and even then it was for only one patient out of forty.

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