NHS ‘showing lack of compassion’

Published: Sunday 15th February 2015 by The News Editor

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The NHS is “failing” Britain’s most vulnerable patients by ignoring complaints and showing a lack of compassion, a major new report has said.

The Patients Association has warned that “too many patients are still experiencing unacceptable standards of care within the health and social care system”.

The damning report, entitled Why our NHS should listen and be human, warns that many people are too scared to complain because they fear recriminations.

But most patients who complain are driven by a desire to improve the system for others rather than punish staff.

Patients and their families understand doctors and nurses are not always able to answer their questions, but they should be kept informed about their care, the charity report found.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “Today’s Themes report demonstrates that too often patients and their families are treated without compassion, are uninformed about treatment and next steps, feel ignored and sidelined when they raise concerns or complaints.

“In our report, Why our NHS should listen and be human, we have identified that patients are still being shown a lack of care, compassion and dignity.

“We have also reported that openness and transparency are key themes that patients and the public are concerned about.”

She added: “The NHS is failing many of the most vulnerable members of society and patients and the public have told us about inconsistencies in the provision of care, poor standards of care and compassion, and a lack of openness and transparency in communication between healthcare staff, patients and their families.

“These themes can be summed up as a desire to be treated in a humane and caring way with compassion, dignity, openness and honesty.”

The charity demanded the NHS improve its complaints procedures and support it gives patients.

Ms Murphy added: “It is now time to stop the rhetoric; be honest with your patients and place them central to everything you do, patients and the public deserve nothing less.”

Published: Sunday 15th February 2015 by The News Editor

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