“Appalling” conditions in U.K. hospital

Damning report accuses Britain’s National Health Service of failing patients on every level

Paul Waldie in London, The Globe and Mail

Britain’s National Health Service was a pioneer in public health care for the world, but it now faces disturbing charges that standards of care have sunk so low that thirsty and untended patients at one hospital were reduced to drink from flower vases. The charges came in a 1,700 page report released on Wednesday, February 6, 2013, that described horrific conditions at a hospital in Stafford, England, where, it said, as many as 1,200 people died unnecessarily between 2005 and 2009. Patients were often left unfed, unwashed and lying in beds soiled with excrement, the report concluded. One woman wasn’t told for six hours that her mother had died. When she came to collect her mother’s belongings, staff handed her a bag at the reception desk.