Legal Guide

Reviewing The Stafford Nhs Scandal: How Quality Healthcare Got A Whole New Meaning

So much has been written about the Stafford NHS Scandal. So much so that our trusted peers in the United States have begun seeing large sections of their newspapers dedicated to the scandal. What’s so interesting about the NHS is that the NHS was looked at as a perfect model for healthcare by other countries. Countries around the world strive to provide free healthcare and model their system after the NHS. Perhaps, this isn’t the brightest of ideas anymore!

For those of you just tuning in, the NHS Stafford Scandal has been in the news for a while now. Various facets of healthcare have been called into question. We, Pryers Solicitors, wanted to summarize those areas of medical care that were most lacking in order for patients to realize that they do not have to put up with lackluster care. Patients have rights and knowing these rights is important.

A)  Did The Nursing Staff Really Care?

The fact that most government hospitals are understaffed isn’t news to anyone. But nurses play a very important role to your hospital experience. Despite numerous reminders that the hospital was understaffed, the NHS did nothing. This meant that overworked nurses were taking the share of the patient burden. When overworked nurses assist you there is a strong likelihood that they will mess up or what we like to call in legal parlance, act negligently.

B)   Fear Of Meeting Targets

A big issue created by the scandal was the fact that the focus for healthcare was not “let my patient receive the best care that he/she can” but instead “I have certain targets I NEED to meet”.   Any unsuccessful business will tell you that numbers mean nothing when quality service is your main goal. And when you add healthcare to the mix, your business model should be “let’s not have a business model but instead let’s focus on giving our patients quality healthcare”. The hope is that the new administration will get this right.

C)   Patient Abuse

Images of patient abuse, unsanitary lavatories and beds, and general apathy are most common in developing nations. But thanks to the NHS, we saw similar images at our own hospitals. The extent of abuse has lead legal pundits to conclude that charges of willful neglect and even manslaughter could be brought in the future against those responsible.

D)  What A New Administration Means? Can We Expect Quality Care?

The good news is that the hospital at the center of this scandal was put into administration soon after. Additionally, the problems plaguing healthcare were brought to light thanks to proactive whistleblowers. Only time will tell whether patients can actually exercise their right to “quality” healthcare.

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