Hospital sued over children left neglected and dying on wards
Photo: Turner family, Athena, Jay Williams
This is appalling and totally unacceptable. It is the result of the betrayal of our NHS by successive governments since the 1980's. It is indicative of a philosophy, which places the pursuit of targets and cost cutting, above all other objectives, including medical necessity. It is the outcome of years of neglect and believing that the solution to all resulting problems is the introduction of yet another layer of management, the closure of wards, and yet another reorganisation of the service.
With the last few days, the Robert Francis QC report into Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, has delivered a scathing indictment of its culture and practices and within hours of publication, it was announced that another eight hospitals in 5 other NHS Trusts are to be investigated.
Today we have the latest revelations of the failure of the NHS.This time it is University Hospitals Bristol Foundation trust which has come under scrutiny. A catalouge of failures, neglect and bad practice, has resulted in newborn babies and young children dying or suffering complications at the hospital. Now it has been revealed that the Trust is being sued by a group of families over its treatment. Compensation payments are also sought for those who face looking after the surviving children who were damaged by their treatment.
The allegations made against this trust seem compelling and indeed, the trust has already admitted that failures to detect the worsening condition of two children aged 4 and 7, may have contributed to their deaths.
The NHS seems to be crumbling before our eyes and the current creeping privatisation will do nothing to remedy the situation. The damage has already been done, as witnessed by Mid Staffordshire and now University Hospitals Bristol with more to come over the next months. All these failures, and the reasons for them must be exposed for public scrutiny and comment. Where it is found (and there is every reason to believe that circumstances will be found), that criminal negligence has resulted in death or permanent injury, then those responsible, no matter who or where such individuals are, must be held accountable in law for their actions.