Behold, the wonders of government-run healthcare:
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.
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. The findings follow a joint campaign by the Mail and the Patients Association last year which exposed shocking examples of substandard care.