Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Britain is a country where doctors need a handbook instructing them on how to treat old patients with respect

The front page of the 'Daily Mail' newspaper yesterday was headlined :

DOCTORS ORDERED TO TREAT OLD WITH RESPECT... but shouldn't that go without saying?

Apparently, the General Medical Council has drawn up new guidelines for doctors reminding them that their care does not begin and end with providing clinical treatment and they :

* are urged to be ‘guardians of patient safety’ and take the lead whenever there is a risk that 'dignity or comfort' are being compromised.

* have a duty to take ‘prompt action’ in hospitals, whenever there are ‘problems with basic care for patients who are unable to drink, feed or clean themselves’.

* if found to be in breach of the instructions, could be hauled in front of a General Medical Council and and in extreme cases struck off.

Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the Council said:

" Our current guidance already sets out a doctor’s duty to raise concerns where they feel that patient safety is at risk. We wanted to make it even clearer that doctors have a leading role to take prompt action if they identify problems."

Campaigners, however, say it is ‘very worrying’ that doctors need to be instructed about their basic duties such as ensuring patients are helped to eat, drink or go to the lavatory.

Joyce Robbins of Patient Concern said:
" It’s terrifying that such guidance should be needed. What we would like to see is the GMC taking strict action against those doctors in charge of patients who are being neglected.’

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association said that :

'Such guidelines should be part of the norm. Doctors should see a patient as a human and whatever their need they should be able to provide it. It should be as much a doctor’s responsibility as any other member of staff. Their duties go beyond clinical care and include dignity and respect. It’s surprising and worrying that doctors need to be reminded.’

So old men of Britain, languishing in hospital wards, can take heart, they have champions to their cause in the shape of campaigners, Joyce and Catherine and the protection of Chief Executive, Niall.
They can rest easy in their beds in the certainty that now, all will be well and particularly in view of my earlier posts :

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Britain is a country where many old men in hospital, as in society in general, receive neither care nor respect.

Monday, 10 October 2011

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

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