New NHS hospital trusts scandal rocks the nation after review reveals more shocking conditions
Eleven NHS hospital trusts were put into “special measures” after another official report revealed the shocking and poor care conditions and risks that patients face in certain hospitals.
The new report comes just months after the release of the Francis report , which found that up to 1,200 deaths at Stafford Hospital could have been prevented between 2005 and 2009.
The Health Secretary announced that 11 trusts (Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals, Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust, Burton Hospitals Foundation Trust, East Lancashire Hospitals, George Eliot Hospital Trust, Medway Foundation Trust, North Cumbria University Hospital Trust, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals, Sherwood Forest Hospitals, Tameside Hospital, United Lincolnshire Hospitals) have been put into 'special measures'.
This came after review by NHS Medical director Sir Bruce Keogh who said that they found them all with the 'fundamental breaches of care' and the “ingredients” of the Mid Staffs scandal.
Inspectors visited 21 hospitals, run by 14 NHS trusts, which had the highest recent mortality rates in England and found patients so at risk that they were forced to step in.
The report said: “Where we found areas of concern, we acted immediately.”
The review team was forced to close down operating rooms, order changes in staffing levels, suspend “out of hours” services for critically ill patients.
They also found hospitals that were understaffed and had overworked nurses, and nurses that 'lacked compassion,' so one inspector had to hold a patient's hand because the staff was busy.
In numerous cases families had to feed and clean their own family members, and also turning them to avoid bed sores, because no one would answer and attend to their needs.
In other hospitals they found patients on trolleys, unattended and not monitored for 'excessive periods', in another. they found a high number of 'never events'- preventable serious safety breaches - including operations on the wrong part of the body, or surgical instruments left inside a patient and high mortality rates during weekends that was linked to staff shortages.
Sir Bruce said: “For me this is in many ways a difficult day for the NHS — because we are laying bare some truths. On the other hand, the transparency with which this review has been conducted, I hope will be a turning point for the NHS.”
While politicians woke from their stupor and started playing the blame game, with everyone accusing the other for the serious and appalling shortcomings.
The Government blamed Labour, with David Cameron accusing the previous Labour government, of “covering up” the NHS failings.
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said the findings exposed by the investigation were Labour’s “darkest moment”, while Labour’s shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, said the crisis in the NHS had worsened under the Coalition.
All 14 trusts have been ordered to make changes and external experts will now be sent in to improve patient care with progress to be tracked and made public, and there will be the removal of senior managers who are unable to lead the improvements required.