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The state of my local Hospital

BBC NEWS A Conservative peer has launched an attack against nurses at Bath's Royal United Hospital.

Lord Mancroft told the House of Lords:

When I was taken ill, I was taken to an accident and emergency department in a hospital not in London but in the West Country. I can tell your Lordships only that it is a miracle that I am still alive. It was exactly as the noble Baroness described the hospital down in Maidstone in Kent. I will not tell your Lordships which hospital I was in, but the wards were filthy. Underneath the bed next to me was a piece of dirty cotton wool, and there it remained for seven days; the ward was never cleaned. It was a gastroenterology ward, with lots of people with very unpleasant infectious diseases. The ward, the tables, the beds and the bathrooms were not cleaned. I was extremely infectious at that time and no precautions were taken with me at all. The staff were furious when my wife wanted my bed cleaned when it clearly needed cleaning. I was just lying there, a pathetic person. It was appalling.

The nurses, who probably are the most important people in this complex area, were what I would describe as an accurate reflection of many young women in Britain today. What do I mean by that? I shall now break your Lordships’ rules and read the next bit, because I thought very hard before I wrote it. The nurses who looked after me—not all of them; we should never generalise and there were one or two wonderful ones—were mostly grubby, with dirty fingernails and hair. They were slipshod, lazy and, worst of all, drunken and promiscuous. How do I know that? If you are a patient, lying in a bed and being nursed from either side, the nurses talk across you as if you are not there. I know exactly what they got up to the night before. I know how much they drank and what they were planning to do the next night, and it was pretty horrifying.

My bed was next door to the nurses’ station, so you could see how the whole place was being run. Actually, you could not: I have seen lots of things being run, but after a week, I could not tell you who was in charge. I had absolutely no idea who was telling who to do what. My view is that nobody was telling anybody.

The man opposite me was dying. I imagine he died two or three days after I left. I do not know what he was dying of because he was not doing a lot of talking. But I do know that he virtually died alone. The nurses thought that he was a nuisance. They changed his bottle, gave him his pills, occasionally fed him and propped him up. But basically this man died alone in a British hospital in the 21st century, and I had to watch him do it, which was pretty unpleasant.

When I fall ill that is the hospital I would get taken to, and it is exactly as he described.


I am very sorry to hear that. I have read that Lord Mancroft has come in for a lot of criticism for speaking out as he has, most of it personal. I think that he had obviously thought quite hard about what he was going to say and should be respected for having said it.

Highly selective editing there as he did continue with this glowing description of another hospital.

"I was saved from that and I have a happy ending to this story. My wife very kindly kidnapped me and put me in an ambulance, on the advice of my London consultant. I was brought up to London to the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, which is where the story changes. I went to the Thomas Macaulay ward, which was completely incredible. The nurses, of every nationality, size, shape and colour, were wonderful. I was discharged from the country hospital. When I arrived in London I had two operations in 24 hours. I am quite certain—as were all the staff, although they would not say it—that if I had not had them I would have died. The hospital in London was wonderful. The nurses were marvellous. I do not know how, but it worked like clockwork. It was spotlessly clean. It was everything that it should be or could be anywhere."

The Chelsea and Westminster is also an NHS hospital, Thomas Macaulay Ward is a regular NHS ward, not a private wing. So there's no reason why an NHS hospital should be grubby, I would say that the responsibility for the condition of the RUH lies with their Chief Executive.

TE- Quite, I was repeating what he said about one hospital, my local one. Others near here run by the NHS are completely different and I have no worries about.

When I lived in Somerset it is that same hospital that I would have been taken to also. It had a rotten reputation and many people, especially the elderly, felt that once in, the only way out was in a coffin.

On the Radio this morning I heard Little Ben piling being characteristically unpleasant about Lord Mancroft. The stupid twerp has no idea what it is like to be in one of the provincial hospitals he is supposed to be in charge of. NuLabour plutocrats such as he haven't a clue how ordinary folk live.

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