NHS horror stories revealed

Patients Association worried about elderly care in NHS
Patients Association worried about elderly care in NHS

By politics.co.uk staff

Firsthand accounts of elderly patients' terrible treatment have been published by the Patients' Association (PA).

Serious failings of nursing care, poor communication with relatives and an ineffective complaints handling system are outlined by the document, Listen For Patients, Speak Up For Change.

Chief executive Katherine Murphy said it was a "scandal" and "outrageous" that the NHS was failing to provide the essentials of nursing care – including help with eating and drinking, toileting needs and personal hygiene.

"The fact this problem hasn't been properly addressed before is a sad indictment of our society," she said.

"If we continue to ignore the problem, then many millions of us will end up in a similar position in the years to come. We will regret not having spoken out. Every single one of us needs to say enough is enough."

Frustrations with the NHS have focused on the Mid-Staffordshire primary care trust, where relatives of victims of poor standards at Stafford hospital set up the Cure The NHS organisation.

The PA argues the problems are widespread across the country – and particularly acute when it comes to elderly care.

"It is vital that other people show the courage these people have shown because unless people speak out the problems will continue," Kieran Mullen of the PA said.

"It was a privilege to help them do this. We can't publish everyone's story, but everyone's story helps us to shout from the roof tops as loud as we possibly can."

Earlier this year the PA's president Claire Rayner died. Her last words were: "Tell David Cameron that if he screws up my beloved NHS I'll come back and bloody haunt him!"

Her husband, Des Rayner, commented on today's report: "Let the haunting begin."


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