Elderly failed by NHS.It’s official.

A damning report was issued this week by the UK health service ombudsman:the NHS “is failing to meet even the most basic standards of care,” it accuses.In the report, Ann Abrahams writes that “the reasonable expectation that an older person or their family may have of dignified,pain-free, end of life care,in clean surroundings in hospitals is not being fulfilled.” Apparently, many are the scandalous cases of basic neglect leading to serious stress for the elderly patient and sometimes premature death.

You can check out a report from the NHS website here also a Daily Telegraph report of what a daughter describes as a ‘disgraceful’ care case

1 thought on “Elderly failed by NHS.It’s official.”

  1. Failings of the NHS for mentally sick

    Here’s how it started:
    It’s a sad fact that Ken could not control his eating so as old age advanced he became fatter and fatter and suffered the usual consequences – diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hiatus hernia, etc. He took fistfuls of pills. And so it was that towards the end of November 2005 he seemed a bit dozy, unable to concentrate, not finishing the Times crossword. He trembled and complained of pains in his legs and stomach. I know now, but did not know it then that these are typical side effects of rosiglitazone. He was also on Warfarin and Acebutol. Then on the morning of December 2nd he had a violent gastric problem. I called Dr T. who summoned an ambulance.
    They say that dogs get like their owners and that same morning Poppy our overweight, elderly German Shepherd dog also had a tummy upset and needed to be taken to the vet. Ken carried her outside and put her in the back of my car – just before the ambulance came.
    Ken was admitted to the hospital at Haywards Heath. He was there for 14 weeks and throughout that time he was left dressed only in a robe that was too small and flopped open to expose him plugged in to a catheter. He seemed to have had a bladder infection for most of the time that he was there. He looked awful – unshaven, with long hair and fingernails. My husband, who had always been very particular about his appearance, was obviously deeply ashamed and became strongly averse to receiving visitors. He became uncommunicative, would stand for periods of time yet refuse to walk and seemed generally unco-operative.
    One day, when I visited him, I noticed large bruises on his body and the nurse in charge informed me that he had fallen off a hoist while being lifted into a bath. How strange! He was certainly not disabled when he entered the hospital. It was about that time that he developed a terror of being touched, cowering away and saying “no”. Was he manhandled at the hospital – bullied even?
    One afternoon in January, 2006 his psychiatrist Dr B. happened to see me and, standing in the busy reception area, he casually informed me that Ken not only had depression but also dementia and that there was nothing more they could do. Furthermore, as Ken was also incontinent with a bladder infection, falling down, not eating or drinking and would be unlikely to take his medication if it were left to me to administer it, he would have to go into a nursing home. I leant against the wall feeling weak with shock. Both mentally and physically Ken appeared considerably worse than when he was admitted and was apparently destined to remain so.
    At a meeting with the doctors I explained how in 2001, Ken had had a “nervous breakdown” and was admitted to the Neville Hospital, a specialist mental hospital for older people on the outskirts of nearby Hove. He had been given electric shock treatment and in six weeks was completely recovered and resumed his work as a chartered accountant. The doctors at Haywards Heath were unaware of the N’s existence and made it clear that they did not believe me when I insisted that it did exist. So of course they had not seen any records of his past successful treatment.
    Towards the end of February, I asked the ward nurse what treatment Ken was getting for his depression and she informed me that he had been put on medication (cytalopram?) only the week before, i.e. some six weeks after diagnosis!
    Meanwhile, I was having to learn a lot and was shocked to discover that the NHS did not meet the cost of care if you had savings. Well, of course we had savings – we were approaching retirement. Typical of the older generation all our savings were in my husband’s name thus making it accessible for his care. The social workers told me that we would have to meet all the costs until only £12,000 remained of his savings. Then they would take half his private pension and all his state pension. This would eventually leave me – after tax – with not enough even to pay the mortgage. “You can keep the house as long as you live in it” they told me. “What will I live on?” I asked “You’re not our problem” they replied. I realized that I would have to sell my lovely home in the country where we had lived for nearly thirty years and move into a basement flat in some urban backstreet.
    The doctors promised they would put Ken onto a new anti-dementia drug Ariset and he was duly discharged on March 5th. I was given no alternative but to agree that he should be put in a care home.
    Upon discharge, the nursing assessment had described Ken as “stable and …… therefore not needing continuing nursing care” and therefore not qualifying for more than the minimum NHS funding. A solicitor challenged this on my behalf and he was re-assessed and thereafter received the upper level of NHS funding. But it still left us paying £610 per week!
    He went into Beechhurst, a private secure nursing home (modern name for a lunatic asylum) in Haywards Heath where the ward sister, an experienced lady, immediately told me that in her opinion he did not have dementia. She also thought his raft of medication was poorly structured and called the doctor to change it. She discovered that Ken had not had a proper psychiatric test because he had refused to co-operate. When asked to do anything, Ken would throw himself face down on the ground and/or shout “no, no, no”. The staff at the home treated Ken well but always there was that awful smell of urine, the sound of wailing and the sight of people sitting staring at the floor. What can it be like to be sane but depressed and to be locked up with lunatics?
    This was only the start NHS incompetence that eventually led to his death

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