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Neglect of the elderly in NHS hospitals for patients without PMI

Published on 13/10/2011

The latest Care Quality Commission report has revealed that at least 20 NHS Hospitals are breaching the Health and Social Care Act 2008 by failing to treat elderly patients without private medical insurance (PMI) to basic standards of care.

The law states that elderly patients need to be fed properly and treated with dignity, but out of the 100 NHS Trusts reviewed, only 45 were judged to be fully compliant with these rules. Another 20 trusts were failing on one or both accounts.

Common areas of concern included a lack of support for those who needed help with eating, poor hygiene, and curtains not being closed properly.

The report identified three main reasons for the failures - a lack of leadership, poor attitude among staff and a lack of resources.

James Paget Hospital, in Great Yarmouth in Norfolk was found to be one of the worst hospitals. Here, nurses were ignoring instructions from doctors to put patients on a drip to stop from dehydrating. The hospital has been given a final warning.

Just 30 miles away from James Paget Hospital in Norwich lies the Spire Norwich Hospital. With health insurance, you could be treated in one of 67 private single rooms with an ensuite shower, telephone, television, and a personal nurse call system.

In the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch in Worcestershire, inspectors found some patients had not been given anything to drink for more than ten hours. A 30 minute drive away will take you to BMI The Droitwich Spa Hospital. With health insurance, you could be treated in one of 46 private beds with satellite television and special dietary advice.

The 20 NHS hospitals found to be breaking the law are being visited again to ensure they are making improvements. The CQC has already closed one ward at Sandwell General Hospital, Birmingham, since its follow-up inspection.

Dame Jo Williams, chairman of the watchdog, said: ‘People were spoken over, and not spoken to; people were left without call bells, ignored for hours on end, or not given assistance to do the basics of life – to eat, drink, or go to the toilet.’

This report comes after news that almost 50 NHS trusts are in severe financial trouble. Compare health insurance policies now to avoid the repercussions of the NHS cuts.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
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