Thursday, May 26, 2011

Elderly patients dying of thirst: Doctors forced to prescribe drinking water to keep the old alive, reveals devastating report on hospital care

Doctors are prescribing drinking water for neglected elderly patients to stop them dying of thirst in hospital.

The measure – to remind nurses of the most basic necessity – is revealed in a damning report on pensioner care in NHS wards.

Some trusts are neglecting the elderly on such a fundamental level their wards could face closure orders.

The snapshot study, triggered by a Mail campaign, found staff routinely ignored patients’ calls for help and forgot to check that they had had enough to eat and drink.

Dehydration contributes to the death of more than 800 hospital patients every year.

Another 300 die malnourished. The latest report – by the Care Quality Commission – found patients frequently complained they were spoken to in a ‘condescending and dismissive’ manner.

The watchdog said three of 12 NHS trusts visited in the past three months were failing to meet the most basic standards required by law.

They were: Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust and Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust in North London. Read More