A contagion of cruelty that taints the health service

The shocking revelations from Alexandra Hospital in Redditch call for a “back to basics” approach to nursing
Nursing should recruit people with a spirit of compassion, but it must also be reinforced by training

Telegraph View, The Daily Telegraph

A different kind of Dickensian scene confronts us this Christmas, not associated with good cheer, but reminiscent of the Victorian workhouse, as the appalling conditions that formerly prevailed at Alexandra Hospital in Redditch are exposed after a huge legal action by bereaved families of patients. Starvation, dehydration, cruelty and incompetence all feature these shocking revelations. They are a far cry from the idealized image of traditional British nursing that was projected at the opening ceremony of the Olympics. At the same time, while deploring this lethal lapse in standard, we should bear in mind that it is far from representative. In hospitals across Britain, dedicated doctors and nurses are caring for patients with a combination of professionalism and compassion that is inspirational.