Annals of Government Medicine

Hospital conditions in the United Kingdom are frequently appalling, but the Basildon and Thurrock University National Health Service Hospitals are especially bad, with hundreds of preventable deaths occurring yearly. The Telegraph headlines, “Hundreds of patients died needlessly at NHS hospital due to appalling care”:

Poor nursing care, filthy wards and lack of leadership at Basildon and Thurrock University NHS Hospitals FoundationTrust led to the deaths of up to 400 patients a year.
Figures compiled by a health watchdog showed death rates at the Essex trust were a third higher than they should have been.
Among the worst failings discovered by the Care Quality Commission were a lack of basic nursing skills, curtains spattered with blood on wards, mould in vital equipment and patients being left in A&E for up to ten hours.
Concerns about death rates at the foundation hospital trust were first raised a year ago, but an internal investigation failed to find anything wrong and managers dismissed the concerns. …
The key findings of the report were:
– appalling hygiene and cleanliness in A&E
– patients left in A&E for ten hours and treated in full view of others
– four deaths among patients with learning disabilties
– a lack of children’s nurses and doctors in A&E
– blood splattered on curtains and mould in vital equipment
– lack of basic nursing skills with failure to feed patients or give medication correctly
– elderly patients frequently developing bed sores, prompting concerns from nearby care homes.

As is typical in government medicine, there has been no accountability even though Basildon has been criticized publicly since 2001, when the Royal College of Nursing described conditions there as “third world.”
UPDATE: The Sun’s account, not surprisingly, is more disgusting.

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