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Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Bereaved families are being 'let down by NHS'



With the NHS funding and rationing debate intensifying the financial pressures more intense than before.   And with renewed warnings about the dire state of NHS finances.  The deficit being onerously placed on Councils and council tax rises to cover social care funding is it any wonder that we are facing Care in Crisis?

Now, in a report published today we hear how Bereaved families are being 'let down by NHS'.  Something the The Edith Ellen Foundation picked up on in our first report published, and provided to the CQC.

The CQC do not need another review, they need action and Care Staff need regulated ongoing training.

When our vulnerable fear care is not there to support them, this is the time to change from the old ways and to improve the Kindness in Care.

NHS deaths not dealt with properly, however what about all the deaths in care homes, how many of these are avoidable and through wilful neglect? The families that dare ask questions get given notice. How many Autopsies would show this, and how many will actually put the honest cause of death?

The Edith Ellen Foundation Kindness in Care is to serve the people and serve the people well.

The NHS investigations into patient deaths are inadequate, causing more suffering to bereaved families, families who are all too often shut out or left without clear answers.

Prominent recent cases include the deaths of Thomas Galligan, 79, who collapsed less than an hour after being discharged as well enough to return home.  And the case of Patricia Fowler, 75, was left lying in pain in a cardiac ward for three days before she was seen by a consultant because she had the same first name as another patient.  A death which was entirely preventable, but there had been failures in her care and neglect had contributed to it.

Key findings


  • The level of acceptance and sense of inevitability when people with a learning disability or mental illness die early is too common

  • There is no consistent national framework in place to support the NHS to investigate deaths

  • A failure to prioritise learning from deaths so that action can be taken to improve care for future patients and their families

  • Many carers and families do not find the NHS to be open or transparent

  • Families and carers are not routinely told what their rights are when a relative dies, what will happen or how they can access support or advocacy

The CQC's review looked at NHS trusts in England providing acute, community and mental health services, placing a particular focus on people with mental health conditions and learning disabilities.  But Everyone's unexpected death is as important as anyone else's, they should all be seen as unacceptable.

The CQC's Dr George Julian said: "We must learn from these families. Their trust, honesty and candour are an example to us all.”  But are the CQC actually listening the time has come to stop talking about learning lessons, to move beyond writing action plans and to actually make change happen.

When a loved one dies in care, knowing how and why they died is the very least a family should be able to expect.
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