Richard Taylor (Wyre Forest, Independent) Link to this | Hansard source

Quality of care and safety are at the heart of the Health and Social Care Bill, and I shall spend my precious few minutes talking about quality of care. I am not whingeing or scoring political points; I shall just give the House some examples of the truly awful quality of care that is brought to my notice. I shall then consider some of the measures in the Bill to address the problem.

My first example involves a patient known to have terminal cancer. After treatment at a local cancer centre, with which he was very satisfied, he had to be admitted to another hospital for the investigation of an unexplained fever. The admission process took a long time. Staff were busy and there was no sympathy for his family. Eventually, he was admitted, but no information was given to him or his family. When they went to visit him the next day, he said, "Get me out of here; they do not know what they are doing." The family were told that no doctor was available to talk to them, although at times doctors and nurses were laughing and joking at the nurses' station.

On one occasion, the patient's family were told that he was not in the ward where he in fact was, and they feared that he might have died. When they found him, he was obviously dehydrated and had not been washed. He said, pitifully, "I don't feel safe in this hospital. They are leaving me to die." Eventually, the family saw a junior doctor who knew nothing about the patient, so they took the patient home.

I have to declare an interest in respect of my second example. My wife's elderly auntâ€â€