Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Report: Patients receiving poor care at NHS hospital

A damning report on the state of government-run health care in the UK, found in the leftist New York Times, of all places.

Excerpt:

Shockingly bad care and inhumane treatment at a hospital in the Midlands led to hundreds of unnecessary deaths and stripped countless patients of their dignity and self-respect, according to a scathing report published on Wednesday.

The report, which examined conditions at Stafford Hospital in Staffordshire over a 50-month period between 2005 and 2009, cites example after example of horrific treatment: patients left unbathed and lying in their own urine and excrement; patients left so thirsty that they drank water from vases; patients denied medication, pain relief and food by callous and overworked staff members; patients who contracted infections due to filthy conditions; and patients sent home to die after being given the wrong diagnoses.

[...]The report into what has been called the biggest scandal in the modern history of the health service found that many of the problems were due to the efforts of the hospital to meet health-service targets, like providing care within four hours to patients arriving at the emergency room. It also said that in its efforts to balance its books and save $16 million in 2006 and 2007 in order to achieve so-called foundation-trust status, which made it semi-independent of control by the central government, the hospital laid off too many people and focused relentlessly on external objectives rather than patient care.

Patients have to be cared about in a for-profit system, otherwise, no one will get paid. In a socialist system, patients pay first and then hope to get care later. Although there are many hard-working doctors and nurses in the NHS, you can’t separate the care that a patient gets from the reward that doctors and nurses get, otherwise, they lose their incentive to care for patients.

But an even bigger problem is that when government runs health care, all kinds of things start to get covered that are not really health care, as the government begins to use health care as a way to buy votes. Suddenly, patients with real health care needs have to get in line behind people who want sex changes, breast implants, IVF, elective abortions and so on. There just isn’t time to give everyone care when the people seeking have no incentive to live responsible lives and make responsible choices in order to avoid risks that may require care. I do believe that the majority of NHS doctors and nurses mean well. They want to serve and help others. But when patients have no incentive to be responsible, there will be too much demand for care, and there will be shortages. When prices are health below market value, demand surges and a shortage will occur.

Here’s a bit more about the NHS health care problem from the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

This week, the  scathing report on the Stafford Hospital  Scandal — after abuse and neglect led to the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of patients — said ‘fundamental change’ was needed in the NHS. It condemned ‘failings at every level’ and contained 290 recommendations for reform. However, Robert Francis QC’s report was merely the latest damning indictment of the health service.

In November 2012 the Care Quality Commission found that ten per cent of hospitals and  15 per cent of care homes weren’t treating their patients with respect. Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, warned that cruelty and neglect  had become normal in some hospitals and care homes.

[...]Reports in 2011 from Age UK and The Patients’ Association exposed some horrendous instances of abuse and neglect — not only enforced incontinence and unanswered buzzers, but patients left hungry and thirsty or in soiled bed-linen.

Another reason for these shortages is bureaucratic red tape. Government-run enterprises are inefficient:

Talking with a cross-section of hospital staff, older nurses told me where they feel the problems lie. They say it is not so much a question of cruelty and neglect — although they acknowledge that this can exist — but more that ward culture has changed.

In the past, the patient’s comfort and needs came first, but now it is all too easy for elements of patient care to be missed as nursing staff focus on paperwork and meeting targets.

Should we have government-run health care? Let’s look at how it works in other countries and decide using the evidence.

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4 Responses

  1. [...] Continue reading here: Report: Patients receiving poor care at NHS hospital « Wintery Knight [...]

  2. Jason says:

    I posted this at a forum I belong to, which has many left leaning people on it, and a few people who think President Obama is god, and can do no wrong.

    The results?

    “The rich are not paying their fair share, if they did…there wouldn’t be this problem.”

    “Right-wing nonsense. The NHS is the finest health care in the world”

    “Hey, it’s better than what we have right now in the USA, where women are denied care, the poor are kicked out and the insurance companies have worked out a deal with the republicans to give the president a bad name”

    “No system is perfect but at least there is care there. People are denied care here.”

    “So you hate people getting health care for free? Only white people deserve health care in your opinion”

    “I doubt any of this is true. I went to Canada once, and everything there is free and covered. Nothing like this article said……did you get this from fox news?”

  3. Jason says:

    Well WK, even at the end of the second world war…..most Germans at first felt zero remorse for what happened to their nation, and to the peoples across Europe they persecuted, and how they blindly followed a mad-man….they were more disappointed that they “lost” the war.

    Look, when I was in college in the early 1990’s we had some students from the former Soviet Union at my college. They would tell a doctorate level professor in a sociology class about “The Gulag” or the penal system in Soviet Russia (they would shoot you for small infractions)….the professor would cut them off tell them how much worse it is in the USA, and how they are exaggerating. The professor would go on to tell them that it was “Reagans” fault of why the Communist system failed and they were victims of this.

    With many on the far left, you just can’t say anything to them.

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