Published on 04/01/2012
The NHS has been accused of causing or contributing to the deaths of at least 74 patients with a learning disability, according to the charity Mencap.
Mencap has claimed that patients were denied basic nursing care and essential medication because of institutional discrimination among doctors and nurses.
Staff are also accused of ignoring advice from patient families and failing to diagnose serious illnesses, because they believe that the patient is not worth saving.
The parliamentary and health service ombudsman has already decided that death was avoidable in four of the cases put forward by Mencap, and found serious failings in 8 others. Inquest verdicts confirm failings in several addition cases.
David Congdon, Mencap's head of campaigns and policy, said: "These cases are a damning indictment of NHS care for people with a learning disability.”
"As a result of institutional discrimination in the NHS, people with a learning disability are dying when their lives could be saved."
In response to Mencap’s inquiry, ministers have promised changes to improve staff care. Paul Burstow, the care services minister at the Department of Health, said: "This government is committed to improving the health of people with learning disabilities.
“We share Mencap's concerns that some people with learning disabilities are not receiving the high quality health care that they should expect."
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012Categories: NHS and Hospitals