Have anyone read the NHS Constitution? The draft document was launched a year ago, when Gordon Brown, former health secretary Alan Johnson and NHS chief executive David Nicholson staged a glitzy Downing St signing of this ‘historic document’ that would repackage targets as ‘patients’ rights enshrined in law.’ All of us were encouraged to feedback by February 5, 2010. But a DoH survey a month ago found that only 47% of NHS staff were even aware of the constitution, and just 22% of patients. And virtually no-one had an in depth knowledge of what it contained, leading the researchers to conclude there was a ‘vision gap’ and that more work was needed to keep it ‘vital and fresh.’
As a result, health secretary Andy ‘Little Boy’ Burnham added seven ‘vital and fresh’ patient rights to the twenty five we still haven’t read. These are that patients should have the right to 1) choose to die at home 2) access NHS dentistry 3) have a personal health budget 4) choose a GP practice offering extended access to evening and weekend appointments 5) have key diagnostic tests for suspected cancer patients within one week of seeing a GP 6) Be treated in
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NHS Choices Feedback
The health service has ended the year with a health secretary out of his depth, two headless regulators and the threat of crippling financial cuts. However, it does at least now have a facility for patients to feedback their experiences in NHS and private hospitals to enable others to make better choices about where they’re treated. Eye reader Alison Wilson recently posted feedback on the NHS Choices website about the care she received at North Staffordshire Nuffield at Newcastle-under-Lyme. Her message was:
The staff in outpatients were kind and understanding, as were one or two of the staff on the ward.
The catering staff were very cheerful, kind and helpful.
My surgeon was excellent.
Attitude of most of the staff was offhand
Drug safety (prescribed a drug to which I am allergic, drugs missed, staff not knowing how the morphine syringe worked)
Poor cleanliness of facilities – and of me (as a patient who was unable to do much for myself)
General neglect, including neglect of some essential instructions from my consultant.
Found crying in bed by a visitor, where I had been
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What’s behind the spat between the government’s healthcare regulators and data analysts Dr Foster? In October, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated Basildon and Thurrock NHS Foundation Trust as ‘good’, before highlighting a catalogue of safety failures at the end of last month. It alerted Monitor, the Foundation Trust regulator, who surprised everyone by sacking the chief executive…. of Colchester Hospital. Then up pops Dr Foster claiming that, from its safety assessments, there are fifty hospitals worse than Colchester, including eleven very poor performers that neither the CQC nor Monitor have highlighted.