Over the past decade in England and Wales, over two thousand people have died in care homes or hospitals while dehydrated or malnourished. Charities and politicians have expressed outrage. Some of these deaths are due to neglect, which should end – but unjustly blaming staff or managers when patients die for other reasons should also be avoided.
Protecting the health of migrants is a matter of human rights, according to a report by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) along with the World Health Organisation and UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR). This raises important ethical and legal concerns, especially in countries bringing in measures which reduce migrants’ access to healthcare or damage their health. (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/18710)
A report on why Mid Staffordshire hospital failings went unchecked for so long makes important points. Robert Francis QC, who led the inquiry, avoided the temptation to blame all that went wrong on a few people who could then be punished, or call for yet another round of reorganisation. Instead he revealed disturbing flaws in the culture of the NHS and other agencies linked with health and social care.
Organisations of health professionals have been lining up to denounce the Health and Social Care Bill. In view of the potential hazards to patients arising from reforms to the National Health Service in England, it is not hard to understand why.