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Patients Association Dossier Highlights 'Poor Care'

A Collection Of Stories From Concerned Family Members Has Highlighted Poor NHS Care


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

The Patients Association (PA) has published its annual dossier of stories about poor care that highlight "shocking" examples of NHS failures from across the country.

One case involved 84 year-old Olive Burns, who was admitted to hospital with a suspected fractured hip but whose condition deteriorated so quickly, she was placed onto the Liverpool Care Pathway, which involves a managed decline of health and eventually death, aided by painkillers like morphine.

However, it was later discovered that this dramatically worsening illness was caused by nurses forgetting to treat her over a busy bank holiday weekend and this could even be considered a case of medical neglect.

Another incident highlighted in the report involves John Moore, 72, who was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in April 2013, but was delayed for urgent surgery because of a paperwork error.

The family of Mr Moore were recently told that he was supposed to be given a critical referral so surgeons could attempt to debulk and possibly remove the growth but this was not submitted by a junior doctor.

Mr Moore was given a life expectancy of one to two years and despite being in good physical shape previously, he died after four and a half months - partially because of waiting times caused by the doctor's error.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: "This is our fifth year to publish a collection of some of the most serious cases that we have heard.

"The government needs to ensure that the changes made to the NHS in the next few years put the patient and their needs at the centre of everything they do, in order to ensure that the sort of cases shown in this report are not repeated."

Labour have consistently attacked the coalition government's' record on healthcare and argue more money should be pumped into the NHS in order to help doctors and nurses spend more time with patients and avoid potential negligence cases.

Expert Opinion
The majority of NHS treatment is of an excellent high standard and medical staff save lives on a daily basis. However the report by the Patients Association highlights many incidents which showcase some very poor examples of care and medical negligence from across the NHS.

“There have been many reports into how to improve patient safety this year including the Francis Report and the Keogh Review. It is now up to the government to prove that these are not just words and to make the changes necessary to improve care.

“We need to ensure that there are safe levels of highly trained staff and that they are given enough resources to be able to carry out their jobs to the best of their ability.”
Julie Lewis, Partner