70 patients die in a filthy, blood-splattered NHS hospital

70 patients die in a filthy, blood-splattered NHS hospital

I wish I could say that this was an exaggeration. Unfortunately, it’s not.

Dozens of patients died needlessly as a result of filthy conditions in an NHS hospital, a shocking report said last night.

Appalling nursing care in Basildon University Hospital contributed to a mortality rate that was more than a third higher than the national average.

At least 70 people may have died who should have been saved.

It is the latest example of patients paying the ultimate price for Labour’s failure to stamp out Third World conditions in the NHS – despite trebling taxpayer funding over the past decade.

The Essex hospital is run by one of the supposedly ‘elite’ foundation trusts, which have greater freedom to manage their finances. Last night there were angry calls for its entire management team to resign.

Unannounced visits by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission found blood spattered on curtains and chairs in the A&E ward, a catheter bag on the floor, poorly-trained nurses and patients treated on trolleys.

A commode was soiled under the seat, nurses were failing to feed frail elderly people and patients had pressure sores.

There was no paediatric nurse for most of the time so children were not getting the best care.

The mortality rate in the A&E ward was 6.1 per cent in 2008, more than a third higher than the national average of 4.4 per cent.

The scandal mirrors what happened at Mid Staffordshire foundation trust – a much bigger trust than Basildon – where 400 people died over three years.

Katherine Murphy of the Patients Association said last night: ‘The entire board should most certainly resign.

‘If there was one member who had any concerns, they should have been raising them.

‘We’re sick and tired of NHS managers and senior staff walking away unscathed when families are left with a life sentence of grief.’

Yet another example of how increasing spending does not equal an increase of quality — not in health care, not in education, not in anything.

The conditions of this hospital were despicable. According to the Daily Mail, these were the worst of the findings. There were floors and curtains stained with blood, as well as blood splatters on trays used to carry equipment. A children’s blood pressure cuff was splattered with blood as well. Mattresses were soiled so badly that the stains had seeped through to the foam filling and were emitting “foul odors”. Ventilator tubes that were only supposed to be used once were being used again. Equipment was past the use-by date, and of course, still in use. Suction machines were contaminated with some kind of fluid, and seemed to be growing some kind of mold. Elderly patients were suffering from pressure sores at twice the UK national average. Elderly patients were also not being fed or “treated with dignity”. People were being forced to wait up to ten hours for treatment.

Sounds like a torture center, not a hospital. The Care Quality Commission awarded this hospital 13 out of 14 points for cleanliness last year. It was apparently rated “good” by the CQC just a few weeks ago.

This happens again and again in the UK, and each time, Britons are told that it is an “isolated incident”. Clearly, this is not true. The NHS system in the UK is a disaster, and this is what we are headed for if Obama’s government run health care is allowed to pass. It’s easy for liberals to say it won’t happen here, but please explain to me why not. Socialized medicine has been disastrous in Cuba, it’s been disastrous in Canada, and it’s been disastrous in the UK. Why on Earth would it be any better here? I highly doubt Britons and Canadians ever dreamed their health care would get so bad, and it was certainly a gradual decline. But all the same, it still happened, and their government’s are doing nothing to remedy the situation. We don’t need to have the same problem here. Health care is not a right, and free health care especially isn’t. The only thing that can keep our health care system thriving and well is free enterprise. If there’s anything the government needs to do, it’s dive into tort reform — but Democrats are too cowardly to do that.

We need to make sure we make a stand against health care and stop it now. It can’t be allowed to pass the Senate. If you want to see the future of health care if we sit back and do nothing, then just look at the UK. Re-read the story above. Make sure you’re lighting up those phones and crashing those inboxes. If we’re angry enough, they’ll listen.


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  • Resignations! I don’t think so! This is nothing less than negligent homicide. And if the Crown doesn’t do anything, perhaps the citizenry should organize a vigilance committee and simply do what needs to be done. Rope, Tree, Doctor/bureaucrat……..assembly required. Hang them to the last!

  • Bob says:

    Reports have also shown that making “paperless hospitals” has actually caused costs to RISE. All of that software, training, and ongoing support (since it’s all Windows based) is expensive. Hardest hit have been smaller teaching hospitals.

    Re-using equipment that’s supposed to be one-time use stuff will probably become even more common as costs spiral out of control. There’s no tort reform in the health care bill either? Why would people want to become doctors when you just become a huge target for lawsuits?
    It’s a huge mess, and the Democrats are going to shove it on all of us and then blame the Republicans over it, claiming that it’s because of the abortion issue. (Which actually has been a non-issue overall)

    This is how they’re going to try to keep their pants on during the 2010 elections. Mark my words.

  • sonja says:

    You sound like you can see absolutely no good in this healthcare reform.

    Here in Australia, we just had conjoined twins separated by an excellent team of surgeons. All paid for by taxpayers through the public healthcare system.

    We’re taxed 1.5% of our income (an additional 1% if you earn over $70K pa and don’t have private health insurance) towards healthcare. So even if I’m earning $50K per year, $750 of that goes towards paying for my health. So if I need emergency treatment for something, I’ve got it, and it’s paid for. Which means that unlike the US, we don’t have to file for bankruptcy for medical reasons 62.1% of the time. (http://www.pnhp.org/new_bankruptcy_study/Bankruptcy-2009.pdf)
    So it’s not THAT expensive, either.

  • Nancy says:

    Sonja, with all due respect, the healthcare “reform” being considered in America is *nothing* like the Australian system you describe. Apples and oranges. The bills being considered (pushed) have been shown by the CBO to be more costly to Americans. An increase in taxes will begin years before healthcare “benefits” will be instituted. There are cuts in Medicare, which is already broke. Furthermore, they include fines and/or jail time for not signing up for a government-approved healthcare plan. Is this sort of thing that you’d want in Australia? It’s certainly not what most Americans want.

  • Sonja, you’re reading that statistic the wrong way – what it says is that 62.1% of bankruptcies are related to medical expenses, not that 62.1% of the time someone gets medical care they’re going to have to file for bankruptcy.

    Besides which, the authors have stretched to count that many bankruptcies as medical – they count bankruptcies where the bankruptcy filer claims that medical expenses played a role, whether or not there were hard facts supporting that assertion. Just relying on their hard facts they couldn’t claim more than 40.3% of bankruptcies are medically related. (See Table 2 for all this.)

    Look further to table 1 – there really aren’t any significant differences between “medical” and “nonmedical” bankruptcy filers. Which suggests that instead of being unfairly burdened by medical expenses, bankruptcy filers are perhaps taking advantage of the ease with which one can file for bankruptcy.

  • Mat says:

    “You sound like you can see absolutely no good in this healthcare reform.”

    Yes, this coming from a person who thought communism wasn’t really a bad idea…like I’ll actually listen to anything you have to say, Sonja…

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