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Patients Association stories highlight 'negligence'

The Patients Association (PA) has published a number of stories from the families of people who believe they were let down by the NHS.

PA executives have repeatedly attacked the government in recent years for not doing enough to cut the number of people who were neglected by staff members while using NHS facilities.

But this year's dossier of patient's stories provides perhaps the best example yet that many people across the UK are not receiving accepted standards of care.

In a report entitled Time for Change, 13 case studies highlight what the PA calls "shocking examples of poor care" and many of the people who have suffered from mistakes, negligence or laziness have since passed away.

This has left it to the family members of those who were subjected to low standards to tell their stories.

Averil Hart, a teenage student who suffered from anorexia, was one of the cases highlighted by the PA. 

Ms Hart was released from hospital after suffering from the effects of low weight and the two NHS trusts involved in her care promised to do follow-ups to ensure she was properly fit and not at risk of illness.

However, this never took place and without the checks in place, Ms Hart died of complications following a severe relapse of her anorexia, something that could have been avoided had either NHS trust taken the necessary steps.

This is only one of the 13 stories listed in the Time for Change publication but, according to PA chief executive Katherine Murphy, represents a wider problem for the NHS.

"The government needs to ensure that the changes made to the NHS ... put the patient and their needs at the centre of everything they do, in order to ensure that the sort of cases shown in this report are not repeated," Ms Murphy said.

"In the past the cases have focused on elderly care, but this year we have focused on more diverse cases ... there desperately needs to be reform."

By Chris Stevenson