Friday, 15 February 2013

Liverpool Care Pathway - A Continuing Scandal

This is The Telegraph -
Mid Staffs midwife struck off, but still employed as a carer

A Midwife at Mid Staffs has been struck off for abusing a dementia patient, but is still employed as a carer in a nursing home.

This is The Telegraph -
Stafford scandal: midwife dragged dementia patient from lavatory by his collar

A midwife at the scandal-hit Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust dragged a dementia patient from the lavatory by his pyjama collar before telling a colleague: "I hate him, he's an animal, I can't bear working with him", a disciplinary hearing has heard.

This is The Telegraph -
Failures in the NHS must have consequences

Those responsible for health care scandals like that at Mid Staffs should not be immune from criminal investigation

Police investigating allegations of newspaper phone hacking yesterday arrested six journalists from the now defunct News of the World as part of Operation Weeting. This means that 106 people are now either awaiting trial or are on bail as a result of three connected inquiries involving 169 detectives and staff. Yet not a single person has been questioned, let alone detained, by police in connection with the deaths of up to 1,200 patients at Stafford Hospital.
It is impossible to imagine any other walk of life where prima facie evidence existed of negligence on such a scale that would not be investigated by the police. Robert Francis QC, whose report into Mid Staffs was published last week, believes it might be possible to bring charges for manslaughter or wilful neglect. Yet Staffordshire police said they had no active investigations and were “studying the report”. Since the extent of this scandal was established long ago, why have they not looked at the evidence before?
As Allison Pearson writes in this newspaper today, there is deep scepticism that new monitoring systems would be any more effective than previous checks. One expert has proposed setting up patient-relative action groups to keep an eye on the practitioners who have woefully failed to do the job themselves. This is a good idea, which we support with a campaign launched today.
For too long, the sacred cow status of the NHS among our politicians has contributed to a conspiracy of silence about its failings. Why should people working in a hospital be immune from criminal investigation into neglect of duty when, for instance, staff at an old people’s home are not? If there is an accident on the railways, the operators risk prosecution for corporate manslaughter; and should it turn out that British food producers were negligent in checking the provenance of their meat, they can doubtless expect a visit from the police.
Mid Staffs was not an isolated case, and inquiries are now taking place into other hospitals where as many as 10,000 people might have died through lack of appropriate care. How can patients or their families feel any confidence in the blithe assertion that “lessons will be learnt” if no one is held to account, either by professional bodies or by the justice system? There has been a monumental failure to fulfil the basic functions of a health system and until there are consequences for those responsible, these scandals will continue. It is time to put patients first.

According to Mr. Pinto de Sa -
We are not empowered to undertake a general investigation into the performance or conduct of unnamed individuals at a particular institution or organisation where it is said that there have been general failings on the part of that institution or organisation or its staff in general.

In other words: ‘where the failings have been a result of implementation by the 'institution or organisation'.

This begs the question: May these 'institutions or organisations' be sued for Corporate Manslaughter?

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