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1,200 patients killed in hospital, abused by staff, lying in filth

Friday, May 14, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: hospitals, abuse, health news

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(NaturalNews) A huge U.K. health care scandal recently shocked the public with reports that up to 1,200 patients in a British hospital needlessly died from abuse and neglect. And the worst part is that not a single worker involved has been prosecuted for his crimes.

It all started when an independent review of the U.K.'s Mid Staffordshire National Health Service (NHS) hospital found that patients there were routinely neglected, bullied, abused and treated poorly. The details of the report include evidence that:

-Nurses regularly ignored patients and left them unwashed in their own filth for as long as a month, and even ignored requests by patients to use the restroom or have their sheets changed.

-Four family members, including a newborn baby girl, all died at the hospital due to carelessness and malpractice. The baby had to be delivered by her grandmother because the midwife was not paying attention. Upon birth, the baby was not breathing, but workers resuscitated her. However she died four days later because a junior pediatrician went against the family's wishes and decided to release the sick baby.

-Patients were regularly released prematurely because medical workers feared they would lose their jobs for perceived "delaying".

-Hospital wards were filthy and contaminated with blood, used needles, and dirty dressings.

Those workers who had concerns about the horrible conditions at the hospital were bullied by managers into not coming forward with the truth. And what researchers initially perceived as having caused 400 deaths ended up burgeoning into 1,200.

Those responsible for the atrocious conditions have either retired with generous pensions or found other jobs in the field. None have had to bear the responsibility for their crimes, and many have not even responded to the allegations.

According to the accusing parties, hospital officials were so concerned with cost-cutting and pursuing "elite foundation trust status" that they lost sight of actually caring for their patients.

Part of the problem also lies in what has been termed "box-ticking", or merely checking a box and sending a patient off to a ward to die. The formulaic method to which the hospital philosophy of care had devolved is the subject of investigation, as concerned officials pursue justice in the matter. Many are demanding a full public inquiry into the case.

The report also outlined that the hospital staff count was allowed to dwindle so low that there were simply not enough caretakers to handle all the patients. And while some did their best to provide care, many displayed a disturbing lack of compassion and simply discarded patient needs, resulting in hundreds of deaths. Even basic needs like changing bedpans and sheets and bringing food and water were neglected.

Former chief executive of the hospital, Martin Yeates, was suspended from his job, but with full pay for six months and a hefty pension.

Sources for this story include:

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