Periodically, Paul Krugman’s much-beloved British National Health Service comes in for some scrutiny on this blog, given the many shortcomings of the NHS. Krugman believes that the NHS is a model for what a good health service ought to be, but the facts tell a different story. Horror tale after horror tale has come out regarding the NHS, which should cause even the most devoted fan to wonder whether the NHS is all that it is cracked up to be.
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.
Of course, it goes without saying that you won’t find any mention of these stories at Krugman’s blog or in his columns.