Pressure on hospital trusts following major failures
Posted: July 19, 2013
Posted in: Medical Negligence
The public’s lack of trust in the UK’s NHS hospitals was recently highlighted in a BBC interview when Sharon Walsh and Tracy Webster blamed their local hospital, Basildon hospital, for death of their grandfather – saying he “gave up” on life during his stay there. Following the major flaws that have been recognised amongst many of the hospital trusts, eleven of them have been placed under special measures, while fourteen were investigated for high death rates.
Poor care standards and a lack of leadership
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said that the investigated trusts had major problems that called for immediate tough action. The problems included: staffing issues, poor care standards, and an overall lack of leadership – all of which he sited in his announcement in Parliament.
Within the eleven trusts placed under these special measures, part of the process involves special teams of external experts being sent into work with the senior management level – with the hope to strengthen leadership. The special measures system also includes regular updates on the trusts’ progress, while all unsafe procedures have been ceased immediately. An example of this is the fact that two operating theatres have already been closed down due to poor maintenance records.
Mr Hunt detailed an array of problems that were identified across the individual trusts, these involve:
- Unmonitored patients being left on trolleys for long periods of time
- Staff working for 12 days in a row without a break
- Low levels of clinical cover, especially out of hours
- Patients being talked down to by consultants
- Inappropriate exposure of patients
- Continual movement of patients without explanation
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