The Brits Got It Better, Right?

Here is an eye-opening story from across the pond.  A report recently released exposed some of the horrors occurring at an English hospital.  Stories from patients being left moaning in their own waste to family members forced to bring in food are among just some of the dreadful treatments doled out in that facility.   The report also shows “patients were ignored as they pleaded for clean sheets and even water, and it says certainly thousands died from the neglect”.  British Prime Minister David Cameron doesn’t believe the problems are restricted to a single facility.  Wait a minute.    I thought their National Health System was perfect?

  • “Calls for help to use the bathroom were ignored and patients were left lying in soiled sheeting and sitting on commodes for hours, often feeling ashamed and afraid,” reads the report, written by lawyer Robert Francis.
  • “Patients were left unwashed, at times for up to a month. Food and drinks were left out of the reach of patients and many were forced to rely on family members for help with feeding,” added Francis, who was appointed to investigate the hospital in 2009 after it showed a higher-than-usual rate of deaths
What was the cause?  Well, they are blaming the nurses:
“The inquiry found that a chronic shortage of staff, particularly nursing staff, was largely responsible for the substandard care.  Staff who spoke out felt ignored and there is strong evidence that many were deterred from doing so through fear and bullying.”  
Sound familiar?  We are doing the same thing here.  So what is England going to do?

Cameron said he would get help from an American – Dr. Donald Berwick, who was appointed President Barack Obama’s administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but who finally stepped down after Republicans in Congress refused to confirm his appointment. Many Republicans were infuriated by Berwick’s praise of Britain’s NHS.

OMG.  They are going to get the guy who is the poster boy for “industrialized medicine” and bogus quality measures.   Maybe he can set up more beeps and whistles to watch these patients and get rid of the rest those expensive and pesky nurses?

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  5 comments for “The Brits Got It Better, Right?

  1. Marco
    March 8, 2013 at 8:23 am

    The critics to the European National Health Systems is nothing new but so far I do not believe that the data shows them having a worse morbidity and mortality data than the USA. Some of those countries actually enjoy a higher standard of living, spending less than half of percentage of their GDP on health care.
    Unfortunately, the passage of Obamacare waisted a great opportunity to really reform Health Care in the United States to a more effective system, free of “defensive medicine”, where people do not have to go bankrupt due to health reasons and waist/abuse (by both the public and providers), hopefully gets eliminated.

  2. Marc
    March 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Why dont we see a few articles on the poor performance of the french, belgian or italian health care systems? Oh, maybe because those sytems ( 2 tiered) work well?

  3. Sir Lance-a-Lot
    March 6, 2013 at 10:28 am

    I hate to say this, but there is no news here.

    The same stuff happened a few years ago when my wife was a patient at a hospital **where I worked** when the nurses **knew I was a doctor there**.
    I can only imagine what they do to patients who aren’t “connected.”

  4. Pat
    March 6, 2013 at 10:26 am

    That is hilarious!! So P.M. Cameron wants advice from the guy who praised the very mess for which he needs help??
    Two hints for all you A.M. readers:

    1. Enjoy this great clip from the show “Yes Minister”, in which a British politician is shown an award-winning hospital…which has NO patients: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-5zEb1oS9A

    That should make it all clear.

    2. Quit bitching about crappy care – remember, the worse it gets, the more “free” it will be.

  5. dale nelson
    March 6, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Having just come back from an extended stay in the UK with a cancer patient, I would like to make the following observation.
    You can’t pick up a newspaper in the UK without reading a new story day after day about the failing of the NHS. One of which was about how foreign imported doctors don’t do as good a job as native UK trained docs. Or the wait times or the understaffing at the hospitals. But Brits with a wallet get great care by buying private insurance and going to private hospital when they get sick. So not much complaint from the well off, they stay away from the NHS hospitals. So the system works like this. Go to the NHS doctor for your colds, but when the going gets rough and the NHS can’t do your cancer surgery, flip over to the private hospitals for your care rather than wait an extra month. But by god they track you down for your mammagram and a stool check even if you have metastatic cancer. Sound familiar, NO THINK medicine is coming to the US. But I am in favor of sending one of Obama’s lapdogs over to the UK, maybe we could send them all!!!!!!!!!!!

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