Monday, 10 October 2011

Britain is no country for thirsty and hungry old men in some hospitals

An article in 'The Daily Mail' last week was entitled :

Patients go hungry in half of hospitals: Elderly routinely left for hours without a drink.

It revealed that a 'Care Quality Commission' Report based on visits to National Health Service hospital wards by undercover inspectors has revealed that nearly 50% are failing to meet basic nutrition standards.

Apparently, old men in hospital, you :

* are routinely left without anything to drink for hours, with doctors so concerned that some of you so dehydrated that they put on drips.

* are among the 800 patients a year who die dehydrated and 300 who die malnourished.

* if unlucky enough to be in one ward at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals, the inspectors found that you had not been given a drink for more than ten hours.

* if unlucky enough to be at Barnsley Hospital, the staff looking after you had not been given any training in how to spot if you might need help eating or drinking and were just ‘learning on the job’.
* if frail and suffering from dementia, had nursing staff speaking to you.

Meanwhile, the 'Patients Association' is so concerned over the number of calls to its helpline regarding poor treatment, that it has convened an emergency meeting with the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Nursing, and Nursing and Midwifery Council next month.

Chief Executive Katherine Murphy said: "Water and food are not treatments – they are a basic human right. Helping patients with food and water is not a 'try to do', it is a fundamental part of essential care."

Old men and women in hospital need have no fear! Your Government in Westminster is on the case because your Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, has said:

* "Everyone admitted to hospital deserves to be treated as an individual, with compassion and dignity. We must never lose sight of the fact that the most important people in the NHS are its patients".

* " I have asked the CQC to undertake unannounced inspections into the treatment of older patients with practising nurses and people who use services - so that poor care can be identified and stamped out."

So old men in hospital you can rest easy in your beds - improvement is on the way !

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