I recently wrote about all the extra attention hospital wards are receiving from lawyers in their new-found passionate concern about fees…….oops! I mean health care. (See “COLD COMFORT” by clicking in the ARCHIVE dated 31 July 2012).
Now I read that a patient deprived of a drink of water in an NHS hospital in London, was so desperate he rang 999 and called a policeman. When the PC arrived, he found the patient had no water in his room, but was assured by the staff that the gentleman’s aggressive behaviour was due to his medical condition. Sadly a day after the PC’s visit, the gentleman dies and the coroner had such serious concerns about the lack of proper care, that the case was referred back to the police. The inquest continues.
This is no doubt an extreme case but it graphically illustrates how failures in basic nursing services can have fatal consequences. Unfortunately, the PC was unable to help and subsequently any legal involvement by lawyers would only serve to apportion blame and line the pockets of the legal team.
The Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow, will probably call for police constables to be stationed on every ward in future and in the fullness of time McDonald’s will be contracted to provide catering and beverage services managers to offer hydration services to patients.
Or just give patients a drink!