Annals of Government Medicine

A National Health Service hospital, Alexandra Hospital of Redditch, West Midlands, is being sued in a class action for malpractice. The incidents detailed include leaving patients to starve to death. On the whole, the allegations sound as though you put the postal service in charge of health care. Not a bad analogy, come to think of it:

The cases against Alexandra Hospital include:
* A 35-year-old father-of-four who his family say wasted away because staff did not know how to fit a feeding tube
* A retired NHS worker who died after allegedly being left without food or crucial heart medication
* A man who fell into a coma after contracting E.coli, apparently from a filthy catheter
* The claims include allegations that vulnerable patients were left to starve when trays were left out of reach, while others left in soaking bedsheets

Official statistics show death rates at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals trust, which runs the hospital, were 10 per cent higher than the national average in 2010/11 – meaning there were 239 deaths more than would be expected.

Concerns about the quality of government health care in the U.K. are by no means limited to this hospital:

The legal action comes amid increasing concern about the standards of care for hospital patients and failures to protect the vulnerable.

Earlier this year, a report by the Health Service Ombudsman condemned the service for its inhumane treatment of the elderly.
The investigation found hospitals were failing to meet their most basic needs, with many left hungry, unwashed or given the wrong drugs because of the “casual indifference of staff”.

Yes; if you like casual indifference, you will love government medicine.

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