Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mid Staffordshire: The Modern Witch Hunt

The Mid Staffordshire report came out today
February 24, 2010

This is a disaster directly lying inside Number 10 Downing Street. It was they that created Foundation Hospital trusts (plus the spineless MPs). They that created the purchaser-provider split. They that founded Monitor who were only interested in financial success.

No, Messrs Brown, Blair, Burnham and all the others: this is not a local problem. It is being replicated at a hospital trust near you.

The fault lies with policy and the labour Government. It is people at the top that need to resign. Except that they won't, of course.
Patients were “routinely neglected” at an NHS hospital where hundreds of deaths resulted from appalling care, an independent inquiry found today.
Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust lost sight of its responsibility to provide safe care because it was preoccupied with cost-cutting and meeting Government targets, a report said.
The inquiry, by Robert Francis, QC, made 18 recommendations for the trust and the wider NHS after hearing evidence from more than 900 patients and families.
Regulators revealed last year that between 400 and 1,200 more people had died at Mid Staffordshire Trust than would be expected between 2005 and 2008, in one of the worst examples of poor care in the history of the NHS.
The trust said that it would consider whether individual nurses or doctors should face further disciplinary action.
He said evidence gathered during the inquiry into events at the trust between January 2005 and March 2009 had shown clearly that for many patients the most basic elements of care were neglected.
Patients were left unwashed, at times for up to a month, and food and drinks were left out of reach of patients.

“We understand both the sadness and sorrow of the relatives who lost their loved ones,” he said. “It was a management failure and completely unacceptable.”
He added that the Government was taking steps to better regulate hospitals and would introduce the power to “strike off” managers who were unfit to work in the NHS.

The report criticised the "ineffective" management which was too often concerned with hitting targets, particularly in A&E, as well as the "lack of compassion" and "uncaring attitude" of staff.

But staffing levels were also said to be too low because the trust was trying to slash costs by £10m.


Concerning Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust, the chairman of the Healthcare Commission indicated that warnings existed about some of its problems for years before the problems became publicly known.11 Why should staff accept the risks of whistleblowing if warnings are ignored?
The chairman of the Care Quality Commission has criticised staff at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust and elsewhere for operating in a "culture of silence."9But the commission’s plan to assess progress at Stafford does not mention whistleblowers. The secretary of state for health has stated: "I do not understand why clinicians whose primary role is the safety of their patients are somehow concerned about whistleblowing."12

T8. [265644] Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con): Two constituents came to my surgery a few weeks ago to talk to me about a hospital in the west midlands— not Mid-Staffordshire hospital. They showed me photographs of mouse holes, mouse droppings in the operating theatre and blood smeared in wards. One is a consultant surgeon and both were frightened of being whistleblowers and feared for their jobs. What sort of ethos exists in the health service if people like that can be afraid of revealing the truth?
Alan Johnson: I know about that case, because the hon. Gentleman dropped me a note about it after the debate last week, and I am looking into it. As he did not mention the hospital, neither will I, but the fact that he has now placed the matter on record allows me to respond to him more formally than I would otherwise have done.

I do not understand why clinicians whose primary role is the safety of their patients are somehow concerned about whistleblowing. Indeed, knowing the number of people in various occupations who are not slow to make people aware of such difficulties, it amazes me that that did not happen at Stafford. The hon. Gentleman has taken a great interest in the matter, and I shall make absolutely sure that the issue that he has raised with me is thoroughly examined. Incidentally, I would also like to talk to the consultant concerned to find out why they were so frightened to raise the matter.

The General Medical Council (GMC) said several doctors involved in Mid Staffs had been referred to it for investigation but would not disclose how many.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has also opened a case file and is investigating at least one nurse. It is also considering whether other nurses should be investigated.

It has indeed started!!!

Other related posts:
Jobbing Doctor: Poor bloody infantry.

The Report:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am from the US and its is frightening to read what your social medicine people are doing.