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NHS : Privatisation Issues And Related News : Failings / Scandals / Rip Offs / Continuing Meltdown - Page 23 - Carers UK Forum

NHS : Privatisation Issues And Related News : Failings / Scandals / Rip Offs / Continuing Meltdown

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
237 posts
Glad you could still chuckle!
At the mayhem I see everywhere from this keyboard ?

Black humour demands chuckling ... the blacker the better ?

Saturday tomorrow ... football ... I've yet to chuckle on a Saturday since ... April 1967 !

Avoided relegation by the width of a goal post !

Everyone around me had already administered the last rites !
Carillion : New hospitals delayed for years by collapse of outsourcing giant, official report says.

National Audit Office predicts two hospitals will now open years behind schedule and hundreds of millions of pounds over budget.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/p ... 87721.html

Given what we already know : https://www.carersuk.org/forum/news-and ... 2?start=50 ... could be a MAJOR scandal brewing here.

Time for Hislop & co. to earn their crust for starters ?

I've been following this one locally ... time for a wider audience :

Mother bled to death after childbirth " Due to medical staff failings. "

Inquest criticises the care given to Gabriela Pintilie, 36, in Basildon University Hospital.

There were “serious failings” in the hospital care of a mother who suffered a massive haemorrhage and died hours after childbirth, a coroner has ruled.

Gabriela Pintilie, 36, lost six litres of blood after successfully giving birth to her daughter, Stefania, via cesarean section at Basildon University Hospital on 26 February 2019.

The Romanian-born mother from Grays, Essex, bled to death over several hours after a breakdown in communication meant doctors conducting emergency surgery after the birth did not realise how much blood and blood-clotting products were available.

Recording a narrative verdict, coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray told Essex coroner’s court there was a “situation of confusion” during the “crisis events”. She said there was a “lack of leadership to deal with the situation” and “a lack of co-ordination and team work”.

She also noted delays in Pintilie’s care in the busy maternity ward. “There were delays in attempting the induction, there were delays in carrying out the C-section and there were delays in surgical management,” she added.

Last week, the inquest heard from anaesthetist Dr Tom Hall, who broke down in court when he recounted how haematologist Asad Omran refused to issue more blood-clotting products. Dr Hall told the inquest: “He told me I should not be giving products because of evidence-based practice, it was the wrong thing. He started quoting research papers at me.”

Hall remembered describing Pintilie’s blood as “looking like water”.

Beasley-Murray said: “The refusal of the consultant haematologist ... was completely at odds with guidelines.” She added: “He should have been aware of the protocols for major haemorrhage.”

Concluding her verdict, Beasley-Murray said: “There were serious failings in the care Mrs Pintilie received at Basildon Hospital.

“It is not certain that with appropriate, timely treatment, Mrs Pintilie would have survived.”

Ionel Pintilie, Gabriela’s husband, said his wife’s death was “incredibly difficult to comprehend”.

He said in a statement: “We trusted the doctors and nurses to keep Gabriela safe and I am so grateful for the doctors who tried to do this but others let us down us and have left me without the wife I loved since we were childhood sweethearts and our children without their devoted mother.

“The biggest tragedy is that Stefania will never know her mummy because of the failure of others.”

Stephanie Prior, partner and head of clinical negligence at Osbornes Law, who represented the family, said: “This is one of the most shocking cases of unfathomable ineptitude I have seen in my time as a solicitor.

“For the medical staff to have received the blood products Gabriela needed to save her life and then not give them to her as she bled to death in front of them is beyond comprehension.”

The mid and south Essex hospitals group offered Pintilie’s family their “condolences and sincere apologies” and have commissioned an independent investigation.

Chief nurse Diane Sarkar said: “The staff involved in Mrs Pintilie’s care have been deeply affected by her death and we have made changes in procedures to ensure that the same situation doesn’t happen again.”
Bed shortages leave Sunderland patients to sleep overnight in A&E.

Sunderland Royal hospital running out of beds despite having added 50 for this winter.

Patients have had to sleep overnight in the A&E unit of one of the NHS’s biggest hospitals because it is overwhelmed by the number of people needing care, a leaked memo reveals.

The situation has arisen at Sunderland Royal hospital because it has been running out of beds despite it having recently added an extra 50 to its normal stock of 970 beds to help it cope with winter pressures.

In a message sent to local GPs last Friday titled “significant surge within the trust”, hospital bosses said: “There has been increased pressures on bed capacity over the past two to three days which is having a severe impact across the trust. Fifty more beds are being used, 40 boarding in different wards and 20 patients were stuck in ED [the emergency department] as no beds available, resulting in some patients having to sleep overnight in ED.

“There has been some cancellations of elective activity [operations] and extra consultants have been pulled into ED to help manage the demand. It would be very much appreciated if you could only refer patients to ED if all other possible solutions have been exhausted.”

The hospital is seeking to buy places in local care homes as another way of freeing up beds and ending the logjam in its A&E.

Those who slept overnight in the unit will have been patients whom doctors had decided to admit as medical emergencies but for whom hospital staff had not been able to find a bed.

Sunderland’s overcrowding is the latest example of how hospitals have been struggling to cope with demand this winter, especially with higher-than-usual levels of flu increasing the pressure on beds. The NHS in England has added about 1,000 beds to help relieve the strain but some hospitals have ended up full despite that.

One local GP said the hospital’s request to send patients to the A&E only if there was no alternative was “exasperating” and made family doctors feel like they were being “a nuisance” when they were already using alternatives to hospital care as often as possible.

Dr Julia Patterson, the lead for EveryDoctor, a network of frontline NHS medics, said: “This email perfectly illustrates the immense strain that NHS hospitals are currently under. Hospitals shouldn’t run at more than 85% occupied bed capacity. However, we know that many are now forced to run at a bed capacity much higher than this.

“This is a hospital where all staff are working extremely hard to cope with increased winter pressures. But after 10 long years of austerity, the NHS is underfunded and understaffed, and there is little resilience left in the system.”

Angela Wadmore, the divisional director for urgent and emergency care at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS foundation trust, which runs the hospital, said: “Over the past week we have seen a big increase in seriously ill people requiring emergency admission to hospital. As we safely manage these pressures, sometimes it may not be possible to accommodate patients into an appropriate inpatient bed as quickly as we would like, resulting in some patients having to spend longer within our emergency department.

“When this does occur, patients are cared for with compassion and looked after safely by our excellent emergency department staff, each within their own dedicated individual room to ensure patient privacy and dignity is maintained. As soon as an inpatient bed becomes available, patients are then safely transferred to another part of the hospital.”

In recent weeks the Guardian has documented other examples of how hospitals are struggling to cope this winter. Cornwall Royal hospital recently told doctors they should discharge patients even though they may come to harm as a result because it was so short of beds. The Doctors’ Association UK called the move “morally repugnant and against the very fibre of what doctors stand for” while the British Medical Association said it was “a dire indictment of the state our NHS has been allowed to creep into”.

Last month Norfolk and Norwich hospital trust advised its senior doctors to make “the least unsafe decision” when deciding how best to treat patients, again because it was under what its medical director, Dr Erika Denton, said was “extreme pressure”.

Growing numbers of hospitals are redeploying nurses from wards as “corridor nurses” to look after the queues of patients building up waiting to get a bed.

Very sick children have had to be transferred sometimes many miles from home in order to get a place in a paediatric intensive care unit because of widespread shortages of such specialist beds.

Despite staff’s best efforts, a decade-long NHS funding squeeze, a serious lack of personnel in many areas of care and rising demand for care have led to the service recording its worst ever performance figures against key waiting-time targets in each of the last four months.

Boris Johnson declared last week that waiting times had become “unacceptable” and vowed to end the long delays.
Dad died violent death in dementia care unit.

The daughter of a man with dementia who died after being pushed by another patient in a care facility, has said her family has been let down by authorities.

John O'Reilly died a week after sustaining a head injury at a dementia care unit in County Armagh.

The 83-year-old was pushed twice by the same patient in the days leading up to the fatal incident.

His family were not made aware of this until after his death.

In a statement the Southern Trust said: "The tragic circumstances of Mr O'Reilly's death have been subject to an inquest process, which the trust fully participated in and which concluded his death was a tragic accident."

" Dad deserved to die peacefully "

Mr O'Reilly's family said they only discovered about previous pushing incidents during the police investigation that followed their father's death.

His daughter Maureen McGleenon said the Southern Trust told them about the previous incidents at a meeting, weeks after their father had died.

She said: "I couldn't believe it, especially because they had happened only days before the push that led to dad's fatal injuries.

"We had called the unit every morning during this time period and various family members visited dad over that time frame, so there were ample opportunities to tell us this had happened.

"If we had known that dad had been pushed twice before, we can say with total assurance that we would have taken him home where he would be safe.

"We're heartbroken, dad deserved to die peacefully."

Mr O'Reilly, a former Ulster GAA chairman, was a father of seven.

His daughter said they had grown up in a very happy home.

"He was married to mum for 55 years and had 15 grandchildren.

"He loved the GAA, there were times he would travel to Cork and Kerry for a day, just to see a match. That was dad."

After being diagnosed with dementia a number of years ago, Mr O'Reilly was referred to the Gillis Unit in November 2018 on the grounds of St Luke's Hospital in County Armagh.

It is a specialist ward for people who have dementia or who are being assessed for dementia symptoms and is run by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

On 4 December 2018, Mr O'Reilly was pushed by another dementia patient causing him to hit his head off a wall. His family have said he was pushed with such force that it left a dent in the wall.

He was admitted to Craigavon Area Hospital with severe head injuries and died a week later.

Last week, an inquest heard that the dementia patient who pushed Mr O'Reilly had a history of aggressive behaviour linked to dementia.

The inquest heard evidence that the patient, referred to as Mr Y, had pushed staff and patients in a previous nursing home and had threatened to kill his wife.

It also heard that Mr Y had pushed Mr O'Reilly twice on 30 November in the Gillis Unit, which led to him being medicated and placed on close one-on-one observation.

On 4 December, Mr O'Reilly and Mr Y met in the doorway of a corridor in the unit, a nurse was behind Mr Y at the time when Mr O'Reilly was pushed.

Concluding the inquest, the coroner said the fatal push happened by "pure chance" and was a "tragic accident".

Following Mr O'Reilly's death, Mr Y was sectioned on mental health grounds and has since died.

" Unanswered questions "

Maureen McGleenon said her family still have many questions that remain unanswered.

"Dad couldn't tell us anything because of his dementia, we relied 100% on the health trust staff to tell us how he was.

"We found out things through the inquest, including the fact that there wasn't a formal written risk assessment carried out with dad after the first two pushing incidents on him.

"We also didn't know until the inquest that Mr Y had been considered a high risk to patients in the care home where he had been a resident of preceding his placement in Gillis.

"To say that dad's death was only a tragic accident has devastated us to be honest. We're completely gutted by it.

"Instead of dying peacefully as was his right, dad died a violent death."

The Southern Trust is carrying out as Serious Adverse Incident (SAI) investigation into Mr O'Reilly's death.

Maureen McGleenon said: "Our experience of the SAI process has been dreadful. In our view it allows the trust to park the fact that something catastrophic has happened to a family.

"We were told it would be a 12-week process. It's over a year now and we've expended so much energy trying to figure out this process and find things out for ourselves.

She added: "The system just knocks you down and makes you want to give up.

"We'll never get over what happened to dad and we can't give up on trying to understand it."

A spokesperson for the Southern Trust said: "An SAI review has been conducted by an independent chair and independent panel members external to the trust, which unfortunately can take longer to complete, due to complexities of managing the time and availability of the expert members."
NHS faces huge clinical negligence legal fees bill.

The NHS in England faces paying out £4.3 BILLION in legal fees to settle outstanding claims of clinical negligence, the BBC has learned through a Freedom of Information request.

Each year the NHS receives more than 10,000 new claims for compensation.

This figure includes all current unsettled claims and projected estimates of ones in the future.

The Department of Health has pledged to tackle "the unsustainable rise in the cost of clinical negligence".

Estimates published last year put the total cost of outstanding compensation claims at £83bn. NHS England's total budget in 2018-19 was £129bn.

The Association of Personal Injuries Lawyers (APIL) believes the cost is driven by failures in patient safety.

Doctors represented by the Medical Defence Union (MDU), which supports doctors at risk of litigation, are calling for "a fundamental" reform of the current system.


Hayden's story

Hayden Nguyen was born in August 2016. Six days later he died in the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London. His heart failed after it was attacked by a virus.

Initially Hayden's parents did not know what had happened to him. In the face of official silence and in a bid to get answers they took legal action against the hospital.

After three years the trust admitted liability for a failure to adequately treat his condition. The Nguyens received a small amount of compensation and their legal fees were met by the trust.

His father Thong said: "It was every parent's worst nightmare. We had to sit there and watch our son slowly die in front of our eyes.

"I haven't really thought about it as suing the NHS. I thought about it as fighting for a voice for Hayden, fighting for acknowledgement of his life, and his rights."

His mother Alex said: "It has been four years so far of trauma after trauma."


No alternative

Suzanne White, from APIL, said people came to her on a daily basis with no intention of suing the NHS.

But she said they often found it difficult to get answers from the medical authorities - and were left with no other option but to sue.

"What they want to do is find out what went wrong, why they have received these injuries ... and to make sure it doesn't happen to other patients."

She said that although only 10% of claims relate to obstetrics, they take up 50% of compensation. This is often because a child injured at birth will need a lifetime of care.

he Department of Health said there had been no decline in patient safety.

"Our ambition is for the NHS to be the safest healthcare system in the world," it said.

However, the MDU said reform of the system was needed, including a change in the way compensation is calculated, and the establishment of an independent body to assess claims.

Dr Christine Tomkin, MDU chief executive, said: "This is money that should be going to healthcare, but instead is going to compensation claims - which is impairing all of our access to healthcare.

"We are now awarding compensation in sums of money higher than almost anywhere in the world. What we need is a fundamental change to the legal system." "
" Cynical approach'

Peter Walsh, chief executive of Action Against Medical Accidents, said the government had taken a "short-sighted and somewhat cynical approach".

"The NHS is not investigating incidents properly, recognising when it has harmed patients and seeking to compensate them fairly and promptly."

NHS Resolution, which oversees clinical negligence claims for the NHS in England, said it was trying to keep down costs, for instance by promoting mediation as one solution.

"Over 70% of the claims brought against the NHS are resolved without going to court," a spokesperson said.

It also urged greater transparency by healthcare providers when things go wrong.

"It is of course vitally important that we learn from harm in order to improve patient safety."

That's where some of our monies go , folks.

Paying for negligence and mistakes.
Workforce crisis leaves the NHS teetering on the brink - but there is a way forward.

Ministers must act where others have failed and put prevention rather than treatment at the heart of the healthcare system.

The NHS workforce shortage is forcing staff to work long hours with no breaks, and go lengthy spells without eating, drinking, sitting down or using the toilet.

And when they are that hungry, exhausted and overstretched, they make mistakes.

This crisis comes after a year that, judged by any standards, was one of the worst in the history of the NHS. During a decade of decline, all the key indicators in the health service worsened, with more than 4.5 million patients now on waiting lists for treatment – more than ever before.

A shortage of doctors, nurses, beds and ongoing care facilities for elderly patients means patients on trolleys in corridors and levels of care that are far from safe are commonplace. Crises once confined to winter are now an all-year-round occurrence.

For anyone wondering whether the new decade will bring anything different, the first days of 2020 brought the news that A&E waiting times are the worst on record. Whatever the rest of this year brings in terms of the NHS workforce strategy, extra funding, or any other government policies, the health service will continue to teeter on the brink unless public health is made the focus.

Boris Johnson, both on the campaign trail and immediately after his election, insisted he would make the NHS a priority – with bold promises about new hospitals, doctor and nurse recruitment and investment in the NHS. But his pledges do not stand up to scrutiny.

NHS spending growth over the past decade has reached historic lows. Hospitals are building up huge deficits because they simply do not have enough money to treat patients.

But the most pressing existential threat to our NHS is the workforce crisis. Chronic staff shortages dramatically threaten the sustainability of the healthcare system. NHS trusts have more than 100,000 vacancies.

For patients, these staff shortages mean overfilled wards, long queues in A&E, three-week waits to see a GP and cancelled operations. For staff, they translate into burnout, depression, sickness and early retirement as they struggle to meet demand and expectations.

The NHS staff I meet tell me they love their jobs, and most wouldn’t do anything else; it’s a vocation to care for patients. But the level of stress endured by frontline NHS staff is unbelievable. Understaffing leaves them feeling isolated and strained. There is often pressure to take on more patients, to work extra shifts, to stretch themselves thinner and thinner. Trying to give care when you don’t have “enough” is heartbreaking. There is no longer enough time, staff or resources. It chips away daily and morale becomes broken. They are stretched because so many colleagues have left – left the country for places that support them better or left the profession altogether.

Understaffing begets poor morale, which further damages recruitment and retention. The number of personnel leaving the NHS because of a poor work-life balance has almost trebled between 2011-12 and 2018-19, according to analysis by the Health Foundation thinktank.

Continued understaffing could lead to even longer waiting lists, worsening care quality and the risk that the recent increase in NHS funding secured for frontline services will go unspent; even if commissioners have resources for additional activity, there may not be the personnel to deliver it.

The secret to the long-term sustainability of the NHS is to introduce a new model putting prevention rather than treatment at the heart of the healthcare system. This government must act where others have failed and take decisive action on smoking, alcohol misuse, physical activity and poor diet, underpinned by the introduction of policies to minimise the impact of the climate crisis and pollution on health and wellbeing.

Delivering a new model of healthcare will require well skilled and competent staff – not just public health specialists but also the wider workforce across health and social care. NHS organisations will need to develop an environment in which the workforce is given every encouragement to learn continuously.

The 1.2 million of us working in the NHS are struggling to do the right thing, but what will make the biggest difference for us – and for our patients – is a concerted focus on improving the population’s health.

• Kailash Chand chairs Healthwatch Tameside and is a former deputy chair of the British Medical Association council
Theme from the Green Paper thread ... recombine those ugly twin sisters ... Our NHS and Social Care ???

Emergency dementia admissions to hospitals up 35% in five years.

NHS data for England shows reality of social care system, says Alzheimer’s Society.

The number of people with dementia being admitted to hospital as a medical emergency has risen by more than a third in five years, figures have shown, with a lack of social care blamed for the increase.

NHS data showed that hospitals in England recorded more than 379,000 admissions of people with the condition during 2017/18. That was 100,000 more than the number of such patients admitted in 2012/13 – a 35% jump in five years.

The Alzheimer’s Society, which obtained the figures, said they meant that more than half of everyone in England with dementia had been admitted to hospital at least once – and sometimes many times – during 2017/18.

“This is the stark reality of many people with dementia left to fall through the cracks in our broken social care system,” said Jeremy Hughes, the chief executive.

Falls, dehydration and infections are thought to be the commonest reasons for those with the condition ending up in hospital overnight. Hughes blamed the spike in admissions on social care – support for people at home or in care homes – being “scarce, inadequate and costly”.

The 100,000 extra admissions are costing the NHS £280m a year, the Alzheimer’s Society has calculated.

Figures it collated from the NHS’s hospital episodes statistics data collection system also showed that the number of people with dementia who spend at least a month in hospital topped 40,000 in 2017/18, at a cost of £165m.

“People with dementia are all too often being dumped in hospital and left there for long stays. Many are only admitted because there’s no social care support to keep them safe at home. They are commonly spending twice as long in hospital as needed, confused and scared,” added Hughes.

The charity said it knew of many cases where lack of social care prolonged a dementia patient’s time in hospital unnecessarily. They include a woman whose husband had to spend eight months of one year in hospital when he suffered multiple infections and falls, unable to return home, because no assessment was made about the level of care he would need once he was discharged.

“The system is not working and these figures reveal how it is letting down people with dementia and putting our hospitals under unnecessary and intolerable strain. The social care crisis is harming patient care,” said Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation.

“The NHS and social care are sister services – when one does not work, the other suffers.”

Deborah Alsina, chief executive of Independent Age, a charity that campaigns on issues affecting older people, said the rise in hospital admissions by dementia sufferers was “very worrying. It is unacceptable that people can end up waiting for up to a year in hospital owing to a lack of appropriate care and support.”

She backed the Alzheimer’s Society’s call for urgent and decisive action by the government to improve the crumbling social care system. Boris Johnson has pledged that a solution is among his key priorities.

Hughes urged Sajid Javid, the chancellor, to allocate £8bn for social care in his budget on 11 March and make personal social care free in England, as it already is in Scotland.
As a junior doctor in A&E I’m calling on all my colleagues in Britain to go on strike.

We need to shine a light on the slow starvation of the NHS: the lack of beds, staff and social care is putting services at risk.

At NHS hospitals across the country, when a patient has a cardiac arrest or other major medical emergency, we dial “2222” to summon the emergency team.

Today we find the NHS itself is in a state of emergency – and my call here for an A&E general strike is the “2222” alert our health system desperately needs.

We don’t have enough beds in the NHS – in England alone we have lost nearly 17,000 since 2010. In fact in the last 45 years NHS beds have declined by 60%; there were 350,000 nationwide before Margaret Thatcher, about 127,000 as of last year. Conservative policy decisions have destroyed our bed capacity.

We also don’t have enough staff.

Current staff shortages require the recruitment of 10,000 new doctors, 40,000 new nurses and nearly 50,000 additional clinical, administrative, and facilities staff. Successive governments have been responsible for terrible planning, and other factors have made the situation much worse. Conservatives have slashed training budgets, increased tuition rates, scrapped the nursing bursary, started a contract war with junior doctors and then imposed one on us – driving many doctors away from the country, while burdening foreign doctors and nurses with onerous visa and health fees to work here. We waste billions on temporary doctors and nurses to fill these gaps – and Brexit will make this even worse.

We don’t have enough social care.

Our social care system is dangerously under-resourced and this problem dramatically limits how quickly we can discharge patients and accept new admissions. Patients who are too healthy to be in hospital but too unwell to go home on their own will stay in acute medical beds at a system-wide cost to the NHS of £640,000 a day. There are 122,000 vacancies in social care, and severe neglect of this system has pushed many people to sell their properties so they can put loved ones in a care home.

We don’t have enough funding.

For years, the UK has lagged behind other major economies in how much money we spend on healthcare. According to a 2019 study, when compared to other major western economies, we spend the lowest amount of money on healthcare per person and it shows. UK GPs spent the least amount of time with patients, the UK had far fewer doctors and nurses than average, and we had the lowest survival rates for breast and colon cancer among the group of countries studied.

These are the consequences of years of Conservative underfunding of the NHS, which has required annual budget increases of about 4% on average to provide an excellent service, support a strong workforce, maintain facilities, and account for inflation. Over the last decade of Tory rule, the average annual budget increases have been a paltry 1.6%, with some years effectively seeing no increases at all. This slow starving of the NHS has caused care to be delayed and denied. Conservative promises of “record funding” are simply not enough.

Without beds we can’t admit new patients; without staff we can’t treat patients; and without social care we can’t discharge people. This is why our A&E departments, barometers of the overall health of the service, are on the brink of collapse with the worst waiting times in NHS history. Patients are waiting hours to be picked up by ambulances, and queues of ambulances are waiting hours to drop their patients off. More people have died waiting for care in ambulances or on A&E trolleys in the last four years than have died from terrorism in the UK in the last 50 years.

It’s time for nationwide A&E industrial action. I am calling on all staff of A&Es across the country – doctors, nurses, paramedics, healthcare assistants, medical students, administrators, porters, security officers, cleaners and volunteers – to stand together outside, at first just for five minutes of each of our shifts, to protest about the lack of beds, the lack of staff and the lack of social care.

No patients will be harmed by these actions – in fact, this might be the only way to help them. If such actions continued every day and the time were periodically increased, we could demand that the government declare a national emergency in the NHS and host an emergency summit with representatives of all major organisations responsible for delivering healthcare in the UK. A&E staff could continue to strike until the participants’ recommendations are incorporated into the next budget, on 11 March.

Our patients are suffering due to policy decisions being made outside our hospitals, outside our communities, and with our NHS colleagues experiencing profound trauma from working in a system that is collapsing around us, it is time to do something. For those dying on A&E trolleys, for those with cancer diagnoses caught too late and for the future of the NHS, it’s time to stand up and fight back – it’s time for us to strike.

• Andrew Meyerson is a junior doctor working at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. His views are entirely his own
237 posts