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Our NHS – the envy of the world. Staffed by caring nurses and dedicated doctors, we are surely lucky to have such a system of health provision. Yes?

Two heartbroken parents have slammed ‘inhumane’ nurses who left their dead son lying in the middle of a hospital corridor and stepped over his corpse for more than ten hours thinking he was asleep. CCTV captured staff pulling the lifeless body of Peter Thompson along the floor like they were ‘dragging the body of a dead animal’. Today a coroner said his death was ‘wholly preventable’ and believes he could have survived but for the neglect of nursing staff, three of whom now face disciplinary proceedings.

Disciplinary proceedings? No, they should be sacked and it’s as simple as that. One of the profound problems of the NHS is the stunning lack of responsibility. Rather like the teaching profession, no one gets sacked unless things go atrociously wrong. How much more wrong can they go than in this case?

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10 thoughts on “THE INDIGNITY OF SOCIALISED HEALTHCARE

  1. Abuse, neglect and incompetence are not unknown in private care.

    There’s all too much of it in private US and other country private hospitals and nursing homes.

  2. It gets worse. I worked in the NHS for 35 years and I never, repeat never, encountered incidences such as are reported today. I am fed up with hearing the expression – Lessons will be heard. They have not been learnt and show no signs of being learnt. In my opinion instant dismissal is the only way forward and that includes the person responsible for the supervision of of the staff at fault.

  3. From the article

    41-year-old Mr Thompson had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs

    The incident occurred between April 3 and 4 last year after Mr Thompson, a voluntary in-patient with alcohol and drug problems, was stopped from entering his ward after he turned up with a bottle of vodka and refused to surrender it.

    A pathologist report concluded he died from fatal levels of alcohol and anti-psychotic drugs, with liver cirrhosis as a contributing factor.
    He was four times over the drink-drive limit.

  4. Phantom –

    There’s all too much of it in private US and other country private hospitals and nursing homes.

    Putting aside that the US health industry is controlled by government, are you sure? In “private” hospitals the staff will step over someone laid out on a corridor floor for ten hours?

    If so the staff would be perfectly suited to the NHS, where the clinical staff have an increasingly over-inflated opinion of their worth to such an extent that checking on the well being of someone sprawled on the floor would be undignified.

  5. There is no perfect system – dig deep into any private or public hospital or nursing home system and you will find negligence or worse.

    In the US, one of the serious problems with nursing homes is that the rate of reimbursement is so low from insurance companies -or- the govt is so low that the salaries for many staff is really low. The good employees move on, the bad ones stay there forever.

    It is a problem that will only get worse with an aging population, and it goes well beyond private industry or public / government slogans.

    There are no good ” public only ” or ” private only ” solutions to most health care issues, especially involving the elderly or those with chronic conditions.

  6. Interesting take here on the Medicare / “Mediscare” debate in the US:

    “The Republican leadership thought they were on to a winner with their spending cuts, including the Medicare plan. The Ayn Rand devotee Ryan believed he was ushering in a new era of less government. But now many of his fellow Republicans are getting cold feet. Newt Gingrich was castigated for labelling the Ryan proposals ‘right-wing social engineering’, but he spoke something that many Republicans actually believe (Gingrich was later forced to recant). It is noticeable that none of the putative Republican candidates for President has embraced the Ryan plan.”

  7. If this means that costs and private market initiatives are off the table, we well and truly screwed.

    I don’t say that Ryan’s plan is perfect. But he was the first to honestly address urgent issues that all others, Obama included, have chosen to demagogue.

    It’s a terribly hard problem, but it must be addressed.

  8. In “private” hospitals the staff will step over someone laid out on a corridor floor for ten hours?

    A private hospital wouldn’t let someone who was drunk, high on drugs and clutching a vodka bottle through the door in the first place.

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