Do we care?


In today’s MailOnline, two articles appear that highlight a disturbing trend happening in some British hospitals. Both report on patient abuse by the care-givers.

One article reports that hospital staff routinely ignored patients’ call for assistance. They even forgot to check if patients have enough to eat and drink. Dehydration has caused the death of 800 patients each year. Doctors  have to go to the extent of prescribing water for the patients to ensure they have enough fluid. How can things deteriorated to this extent? What are the causes for this fall in professional standard? Are the caregivers so over-burdened?

Worse yet is 300 more patients die each year due to malnourishment in these hospitals. Elderly patients and the very sick are the ones that need more attention, are the hospitals so shorthanded that this extra care has to be forsaken?

Care Quality Commission, a watchdog organisation, reported that patients also complained of ‘condescending and dismissive’ manner  of the caregivers in the hospitals they checked.

Other complaints that emerged are :-

#   staff is too busy to take the elderly patients to the toilet. These patients have to suffer the indignity of doing their ‘chores’ using a commode by their bedside.

#   meals are dumped by the patients’ beds while they were asleep and then taken away untouched,

#   emergency buttons are often left out of patients’ reach. They have to press seven times before they get help.

#   one patient had to bang on his water jug and shouted before he got attended to,

#   staff failing to close the curtains around  patients’ beds before examining them.

In another article, a midwife is reported to have abused a lady suffering a traumatic birth. Though the lady was in great pain, the midwife was not only unsympathetic, she also made cutting and uncalled-for comments.

What have caused all these? Are the patients to be blamed? Or are the caregivers to be blamed? Or are the hospital administrations to be blame?

Or has the modern lifestyle decide to do away with care, loving-kindness and compassion? If it has then who are they ones who choose to adopt this? The finger then points to us, for we are the people of this age!

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