An Aging Population taxes the NHS such that Patients are Neglected and Marked for Death by Informal Death Panels

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 24th, 2012

Week in Review

Conditions in some British hospitals grow appalling.  As patients are left in their own filth.  And ‘do not resuscitate’ orders are placed in their files.  Often without consulting their families.  All in an effort to hurry up the death of these most burdensome patients (see Why can’t the NHS get basic care right? by Nick Triggle posted 11/22/2012 on BBC News Health).

Reading the 53-page dossier on poor patient care put together by the Patients Association, you cannot help but be moved by the harrowing stories.

There is the case of a man placed in a dementia-friendly ward with staff, who were given strict instructions to check on him because he had a history of going walkabout, but was able to escape and subsequently drowned in a nearby river.

There are tales of patients left in soiled sheets, their dignity stripped from them, and others being left for hours in pain, their cries for help ignored…

Of course, in an organisation the size of the NHS – it sees 1m people every 36 hours – there will always be cases where standards have slipped…

I recently asked a senior nurse working in a large hospital what she thought had gone wrong.

Her answer was quite clear. She told me: “We have had to become immune, desensitised, to cope with what we do. Every day we see suffering and we can’t always help.

“That does not explain or excuse some of the clear examples of neglect we have heard about. But it has created a culture that means these things can happen.”

She went on to say that at the heart of the problem was the fact that there were many people in hospital that should not be there.

It is an often-quoted fact that two-thirds of emergency admissions are among people with long-term conditions, which covers everything from heart disease to dementia.

Even with national health care people use the emergency rooms for non-emergency conditions.  This was one of the driving forces in passing Obamacare.  We’re paying for these people already in higher hospital costs.  So we might as well give these people health insurance so they don’t use our emergency rooms for non-emergency conditions.  Well, guess that won’t be happening.

It’s not only that these people shouldn’t be there, but when they are there they are getting ‘death panel’ treatment.  As Triggle wrote the previous day, “A number of the patient stories involved people who had been left in soiled sheets and there were examples of patients having a “do not resuscitate order” placed on them without proper discussion with their families.”

So they don’t want them in the hospital.  And if they get into the hospital they are just letting them die.  Through informal and unofficial death panels.  To free up limited health care resources.  Sad.  But this is the reality of national health care.  Combined with an aging population.  Which is forcing the NHS to get by on less funding.  While that aging population is taxing their limited resources.  Something all the opponents of Obamacare warned.  But the Democrats passed their health care bill anyway.  For they don’t care about the ultimate quality of health care.  But the power national health care gives them.

The liberal Democrats always note the size of classrooms when trying to get more funding for teacher pay and benefits.  Saying that large classrooms are bad.  That smaller classrooms in more schools throughout the community though more costly will provide a higher quality education.  The same is true in health care.  More clinics throughout the community though more costly will provide a higher quality of health care.  And keep a lot of patients out of the hospital.  The NHS would like to do that.  But the budget constraints due to an aging population make that impossible.  Leaving hospitals little choice but to pin ‘do not resuscitate’ orders on their more burdensome patients.  Which will likely happen under Obamacare.  As the US also has an aging population.


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