Friday, 26 February 2010
The scandal continues
That’s exactly what’s happened here in the UK with the delayed publication of a report by the Nutrition Action Plan Delivery Board, a panel of medics and academics set up to monitor the problem. The report claims that 239 patients died because of malnutrition in English hospitals in 2007. The report comes a day after the publication of another report into 1,200 deaths that occurred through the neglect of patients at the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust.
The report’s authors said the figure of 239 patients represents less than 0.5 per cent of the total number who died in hospital from malnutrition. They added: “We know that malnutrition predisposes to disease, it delays recovery from illness and it increases mortality. It follows that the effect of malnutrition on mortality rates is substantially greater than the number reported to have died because of malnutrition.”
The report has been seized by the Tories who claim that if extrapolated, the number of hospital deaths resulting from malnutrition could be as high as 47,500 a year. Naturally, the government isn’t taking this lying down. Care services minister, Phil Hope, claims that only 239 people died from malnourishment in Britain’s hospitals in 2007.
So, that’s okay, then! Only 239 people died from lack of food or water in our hospitals in a single year. That’s a drop in the ocean. Nothing to worry about. Move along, nothing to see here. Get back to your plasma screens, people. The government will take care of this. Crisis, what crisis?
Meanwhile the scandal of dire nutritional standards in our hospitals continues while big businesses carry on making a fortune from supplying cook/chill muck to sloppy, cost-cutting, target-driven NHS trusts.
Read more on this at The Daily Telegraph