Human Exceptionalism

NHS Meltdown: The People Turn Thumb’s Down

A survey of the victims, er ah, the patients served by the NHS in the UK reveals that they know very well how bad things have become. From the story:

A big variation in the performance of NHS trusts across England is revealed today in the health inspectorate’s annual survey of patients’ experiences. In some hospitals more than three-quarters of inpatients said the standard of care was excellent, compared with less than one quarter in others.

In the best trusts, staff almost invariably helped frail patients to eat, but in the worst nearly half the people who needed assistance at mealtimes said they did not get it.

There was also a wide variation between hospitals in the quality of food, cleanliness, responsiveness to call buttons and the proportion of patients expected to share bathrooms and toilets with members of the opposite sex.

While some individual hospitals clearly scored well, when viewed regionally, no scorecard were 46% receiving excellent care, and the London region’s rating was a paltry 38%. And apparently hygiene control, the key to stopping hospital acquired infections, has worsened. Centralized health care does not work.