The Patients Association has today published its fifth annual Patients Stories report, Time for Change, a series of 13 case studies highlighting shocking examples of poor care in NHS hospitals and care homes across the country. The stories have been contributed by patients, or patients’ families, who have contacted the Patients Associations’ Helpline over the past twelve months.
Several stories included in the report are examples of how an inadequate complaints system, similar to what is currently used by many trusts across the country and highlighted in both the Francis and the Clwyd/Hart review, can impact upon patients and their families who do not feel that they have received the correct level of care in their NHS hospital.
The cases that are in this year’s report indicate the need to implement the recommendations of the Inquiry into Mid Staffordshire led by Robert Francis QC, the new President of the Patients Association.
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 on our Helpline.
“In the past the cases have focused on elderly care, but this year we have focused on more diverse cases that all speak to a more important truth – that there desperately needs to be reform of the system, based on the recommendations of the Francis Inquiry.
“Those recommendations offer a promising blue print for safe, dignified and compassionate treatment in the NHS. We are delighted that the Government has committed to implementing so many of them.
“However words are not enough. 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”.
Robert Francis QC, newly-appointed President of the Patients Association, said:
“The experiences of patients and relatives remain the best way to detect care that is being delivered without care and compassion.
“Let us all hope that in the near future we will stop having to listen to disturbing reports of poor and unsafe care in many different places and instead be looking at a service which has learned from the mistakes, and has ensured that the excellent practice we know exists has become the norm. If we are to achieve this, we need to keep listening to experiences such as those contained in this report.”