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How We Treat the Sick: Neglect and Abuse in Our Health Services Paperback – 15 May 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Pub; 1 edition (15 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849051607
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849051606
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 551,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

This very readable book presents an enlightening read for all involved in health care, from senior politicians and policy-makers to individual practitioners and students. -- British Journal of Occupational Therapy Students and practitioners reading the book should appreciate and learn from the material provided and gain a deeper understanding of the range of issues involved. This is a useful book that will be of interest to the range of individuals and organisations working in the area of adult services, including but not exclusively, adult safeguarding. -- Journal of Adult Protection This is very important book for all to consider carefully, because, whatever health problems we encounter, we do hope, at least, to be treated with compassion and professional care. -- The Sign In How we treat the sick, Mandelstam combines his detailed legal understanding with his commitment to "skilled, compassionate, dignified inpatient nursing, genuine rehabilitation and palliative care" (dedication, to the memory of the staff at the Walnuttree Hospital in Sudbury, Suffolk)... Michael Mandelstam's work on Community Care law has been so thorough, accurate, and useful for practitioners so it was a pleasure to review this book. -- Community Care, "Mad World" blog For social workers, this book raises challenges. How far should social workers challenge and confront poor standards of health care? Should social workers challenge other professionals who speak coarsely and harshly to and about those in their care? The answer should, of course, be "yes". This book gives material to ponder the consequences of silence. Recommended for students, those working in adult safeguarding and adult services. -- PSW Michael Mandelstam... outlines and provides evidence for what he sees as the decline in care, especially of older people in the NHS and the independent sector. His book is filled with shocking detail from public inquiries, coroners' reports, court judgements and statements from patients and their relatives... Every assertion is supported with clear evidence... This book should be required reading for everyone with any influence over health care, from the prime minister and health secretary to care workers. -- Nursing Standard Yet again Michael Mandelstam has applied his precise yet passionate analysis to "neglect and abuse in our health services". Mandelstam is a brilliant and committed writer. We should all read this book alongside the report of the inquiry into the management of the Mid Staffs Foundation Trust (if it ever gets published). -- Caring Times 'Terrible in its message and merciless in its delivery, it is quite unlike anything I have read from JKP. It is certainly their most daring and significant publication ever. But be prepared: I had to take a break halfway through, exhausted and trembling as I tried to live with the pace and intensity of the writing... Every argument and observation is backed up by a series of facts annotated with sound references. Michael Mandelstam shares with many healthcare litigants a deep sense of wrong and loss. Loss of the healthcare system he and I and most of you have believed to be ours: good, and never-to-be hurt or transfigured into something soiled, tarnished, perverted... It should be read by everyone with a serious concern for the health, welfare and pride of this country and others. It could be the Old Testament from which a New Testament can emerge. -- Dementia UK In some ways it is the voice of the neglected and abused elderly and their relatives pleading for change... The balance between running a financially viable organization and providing high-quality individualized care needs to be pivoted on the fulcrum of dignity and respect. To help redress that balance, someone should send a copy of this book to every chief executive, finance director and chief nurse in the NHS. -- The Tablet Successive reports on catastrophic failures in the nursing care of desperately sick people in our hospitals have had little effect. They have failed to see the systemic nature of the problem and, worse, have proposed box-ticking solutions to what is often the abandonment of common humanity. Michael Mandelstam's documentation of a continuing scandal that touches on all of us is worth a thousand expensive inquiries. This brilliant and impassioned book should be mandatory reading for policymakers and all of those who care for vulnerable people. -- Raymond Tallis FRCP FMedSci, Emeritus Professor of Geriatric Medicine and author of Hippocratic Oaths: Medicine and its Discontents. Going forward we can, and must, do much more to improve, firstly the health and social care of vulnerable people who cannot speak for themselves and secondly, the training and morale of those whose job it is to care for them. A good place to start would be immediately to begin the process of vigorously consigning to history the bad practices so clearly highlighted in this important book. -- Baroness Sally Greengross OBE Michael Mandelstam has provided a devastating account of some of the more horrifying aspects of the care provided by the National Health Service. As he points out this is not necessarily typical of all care provided, even by those institutions mentioned in the book. It is however a sufficiently alarming book that should be read by everyone concerned with health care in Britain, and demands attention both from the organisations concerned and from those responsible for the management and reorganisation of the NHS. -- Tim Yeo MP 'How we treat the Sick' is a call for action. NHS staff have been smothered and de-motivated by countless targets and controls. Focused regulation and more autonomy for front line staff could transform the experience of patients. -- Baroness Molly Meacher Amidst the striking advances in modern medicine stands the starkly contrasting deterioration in the day to day care of vulnerable patients. Neglect and abuse of elderly and incapacitated patients in our hospitals and nursing homes is not a rare or occasional scandal picked out by the media. The picture painted in this timely book strongly points to a much wider spread of failures of acceptable standards of care. Despite any number of published inquiries little seems to have changed in the last few years. This excellent book now demands action not words from the professions and Government. -- Lord Leslie Turnberg A searing condemnation of neglect and abuse of older people in our health services, this is a must-read volume to spur us to action. We tolerate the appalling treatment of older people in some of our institutions (by no means all) because, as a society, we don't think they matter. If we visited more, challenged more, took ownership more seriously, and gave care staff, often pressurised and underpaid, more respect, things might get better. Michael Mandelstam is to be congratulated for drawing this to our attention. Now it is up to us to find the solution - and that lies partly in valuing those who care for our older people better, paying them better, and regarding care as a serious career choice. -- Baroness Julia Neuberger Caring for people is extremely challenging and expecting anyone to do so in adverse, under-staffed conditions, with little or no emotional support, is asking for trouble, as the people given a voice in this book bear witness. -- The Psychiatrist. This sobering account of the deterioration of care for elderly patients in this country makes a strong case about the systemic nature of this failure... Above all this book makes a bold address for action at every level of the NHS and indeed society, to find good solutions to this snowballing epidemic. -- Stephanie Watts, Assistant Psychologist, Bagnor University Signpost

Review

This very readable book presents an enlightening read for all involved in health care, from senior politicians and policy-makers to individual practitioners and students. (British Journal of Occupational Therapy)

Students and practitioners reading the book should appreciate and learn from the material provided and gain a deeper understanding of the range of issues involved. This is a useful book that will be of interest to the range of individuals and organisations working in the area of adult services, including but not exclusively, adult safeguarding. (Journal of Adult Protection)

This is very important book for all to consider carefully, because, whatever health problems we encounter, we do hope, at least, to be treated with compassion and professional care. (The Sign)

In How we treat the sick, Mandelstam combines his detailed legal understanding with his commitment to "skilled, compassionate, dignified inpatient nursing, genuine rehabilitation and palliative care" (dedication, to the memory of the staff at the Walnuttree Hospital in Sudbury, Suffolk)... Michael Mandelstam's work on Community Care law has been so thorough, accurate, and useful for practitioners so it was a pleasure to review this book. (Community Care, "Mad World" blog)

For social workers, this book raises challenges. How far should social workers challenge and confront poor standards of health care? Should social workers challenge other professionals who speak coarsely and harshly to and about those in their care? The answer should, of course, be "yes".

This book gives material to ponder the consequences of silence. Recommended for students, those working in adult safeguarding and adult services.

(PSW)

Michael Mandelstam... outlines and provides evidence for what he sees as the decline in care, especially of older people in the NHS and the independent sector.

His book is filled with shocking detail from public inquiries, coroners' reports, court judgements and statements from patients and their relatives... Every assertion is supported with clear evidence... This book should be required reading for everyone with any influence over health care, from the prime minister and health secretary to care workers.

(Nursing Standard)

Yet again Michael Mandelstam has applied his precise yet passionate analysis to "neglect and abuse in our health services". Mandelstam is a brilliant and committed writer. We should all read this book alongside the report of the inquiry into the management of the Mid Staffs Foundation Trust (if it ever gets published). (Caring Times)

'Terrible in its message and merciless in its delivery, it is quite unlike anything I have read from JKP. It is certainly their most daring and significant publication ever. But be prepared: I had to take a break halfway through, exhausted and trembling as I tried to live with the pace and intensity of the writing... Every argument and observation is backed up by a series of facts annotated with sound references. Michael Mandelstam shares with many healthcare litigants a deep sense of wrong and loss. Loss of the healthcare system he and I and most of you have believed to be ours: good, and never-to-be hurt or transfigured into something soiled, tarnished, perverted... It should be read by everyone with a serious concern for the health, welfare and pride of this country and others. It could be the Old Testament from which a New Testament can emerge. (Dementia UK)

In some ways it is the voice of the neglected and abused elderly and their relatives pleading for change... The balance between running a financially viable organization and providing high-quality individualized care needs to be pivoted on the fulcrum of dignity and respect. To help redress that balance, someone should send a copy of this book to every chief executive, finance director and chief nurse in the NHS. (The Tablet)

Successive reports on catastrophic failures in the nursing care of desperately sick people in our hospitals have had little effect. They have failed to see the systemic nature of the problem and, worse, have proposed box-ticking solutions to what is often the abandonment of common humanity. Michael Mandelstam's documentation of a continuing scandal that touches on all of us is worth a thousand expensive inquiries. This brilliant and impassioned book should be mandatory reading for policymakers and all of those who care for vulnerable people. (Raymond Tallis FRCP FMedSci, Emeritus Professor of Geriatric Medicine and author of Hippocratic Oaths: Medicine and its Discontents.)

Going forward we can, and must, do much more to improve, firstly the health and social care of vulnerable people who cannot speak for themselves and secondly, the training and morale of those whose job it is to care for them. A good place to start would be immediately to begin the process of vigorously consigning to history the bad practices so clearly highlighted in this important book. (Baroness Sally Greengross OBE)

Michael Mandelstam has provided a devastating account of some of the more horrifying aspects of the care provided by the National Health Service. As he points out this is not necessarily typical of all care provided, even by those institutions mentioned in the book. It is however a sufficiently alarming book that should be read by everyone concerned with health care in Britain, and demands attention both from the organisations concerned and from those responsible for the management and reorganisation of the NHS. (Tim Yeo MP)

'How we treat the Sick' is a call for action. NHS staff have been smothered and de-motivated by countless targets and controls. Focused regulation and more autonomy for front line staff could transform the experience of patients. (Baroness Molly Meacher)

Amidst the striking advances in modern medicine stands the starkly contrasting deterioration in the day to day care of vulnerable patients. Neglect and abuse of elderly and incapacitated patients in our hospitals and nursing homes is not a rare or occasional scandal picked out by the media. The picture painted in this timely book strongly points to a much wider spread of failures of acceptable standards of care. Despite any number of published inquiries little seems to have changed in the last few years. This excellent book now demands action not words from the professions and Government. (Lord Leslie Turnberg)

A searing condemnation of neglect and abuse of older people in our health services, this is a must-read volume to spur us to action. We tolerate the appalling treatment of older people in some of our institutions (by no means all) because, as a society, we don't think they matter. If we visited more, challenged more, took ownership more seriously, and gave care staff, often pressurised and underpaid, more respect, things might get better. Michael Mandelstam is to be congratulated for drawing this to our attention. Now it is up to us to find the solution - and that lies partly in valuing those who care for our older people better, paying them better, and regarding care as a serious career choice. (Baroness Julia Neuberger)

Caring for people is extremely challenging and expecting anyone to do so in adverse, under-staffed conditions, with little or no emotional support, is asking for trouble, as the people given a voice in this book bear witness. (The Psychiatrist.)

This sobering account of the deterioration of care for elderly patients in this country makes a strong case about the systemic nature of this failure... Above all this book makes a bold address for action at every level of the NHS and indeed society, to find good solutions to this snowballing epidemic. (Stephanie Watts, Assistant Psychologist, Bagnor University Signpost)

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4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Patient safety is the single most important aspect of health care, but one which can be left to play second base to the government targets and financial restrictions. This book catalogues some of the results of that climate in the last ten years, particularly, but not exclusively, the situations which were allowed to develop in Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, Stoke Mandeville Hospital (part of the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust), and Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.

The chapters in the book fall into several broad sections:
* guidance issued in the last decade on good basic care,
* a catalogue of incidents, divided into toileting, cleanliness and managing infection, nutrition, pressure sores and falls
* key system issues, such as bed numbers, patient type, cosumerist approach, staffing levels, targets and bullying
* responses which have perpetuated neglect, such as misinformation, not speaking up, denial
* regulation of health services

The book shows that a culture of patient safety has being severely hampered by successive government polices and a lack of central government accountability. To really address the issue, there needs to be a whole society movement to insist on good quality care, and to challenge politicians when this is not happening. This is not to take accountability from individual providers and commissioners, which still must have systems in place to address failures in basic care, but recognises that as a whole, any organisation is only as good as it's leadership.

It's a harrowing, and shocking, read. These are incidents of serious neglect of the most basic levels of care. Which should not happen.
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By R. WEST-SOLEY TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a shocking book which exposes some truly awful slippage in standards of care in the NHS. I think caution should be taken, though, as the cases chosen as illustrative are in essence just that - single cases - and so it's hard to see the bigger picture at points. That said, I come from a family of nurses and carers, and certainly some of the criticism here do ring true, particularly understaffing and bullying in the workplace, although they agreed that some of the cases presented here are truly the worst of the very worse, and are (fortunately) not completely indicative of everyday experiences.

The book manages to avoid being sensationalist or journalistic, as might be the danger with an exposé piece like this. It's quite a balanced, unhysterical treatment of the topic, which makes a refreshing contrast with some of the tabloid exposés. There are positive suggestions by the end of the book, too, rather than a simple, desperate debunking. As with education, the straight-jacketing of working practices particularly stands out as a central focus for improvement. And unlike some of the current polemic on health and education, the blame isn't being shifted onto the people at the bottom, amongst whom there are some very dedicated and praiseworthy vocational carers.

Definitely worth a read on the strength of the potential solutions it offers, contributing to a very topical and heated current debate.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book should be a must read for anyone working in the NHS for a number of reasons. It not only lists a litany of events that have been the low points for the NHS, but also reveals the perception that the public have ingrained in their collective memories.
Unfortunately, it becomes a one-sided portrayal of a series of lapses and errors and degradation and deterioration, without any real attempt to analyse the root causes or forward any real solutions. It fails to identify whether these omissions of care are a result of a significant policy decision or a cultural change as a results of decline in societal values. It left me feeling frustrated at times, as there is no real analytical conclusions or incisiveness, and at times feels like sensationalist journalism on a tirade. At times, I felt that any industry or service if put under the microscope could easily be ripped to shreds!
However, even with its anecdote heavy approach, it sums up the gradual decline that the NHS is living with a warning shot that is not acceptable and that the NHS has to hold to a higher standard. This should serve as a wake-up call for those of us in the NHS as we all shoulder an individual as well as a collective responsibility.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It took me a while to get round to reading this book, because I was in the process of witnessing first hand some of the issues raised in it, with regard to the care of my late father-in-law at a tertiary University Hospital NHS Trust. As such, the subject matter was a bit too close to heart.

However, this is a worthwhile book to read, if only so that one can see that what was happening in the aforementioned hospital was not just in that one site, and that similar issues have arisen elsewhere. The worrying thing, which is the point made by the author, is that such lapses in care have been happening for years, and that in theory, steps have been taken to correct those lapses.

The book is very thorough, covering clear examples of acts of criminal negligence, including where manslaughter has been deemed to have occurred. It also points out instances where staff have tried to highlight the problems, but there has been a lack of action both from the hospital/care home in question, and equally worrying from the professional body for those individuals.

My question would be that, if these abuses, and let's be clear, they can't be called anything else, were happening several years ago, and in theory measures were put in place to prevent them happening, why are they still occurring in 2010 (the extent of the book) and as I have seen, in 2011. Thus, the author's point that neglect in the care of elderly patients is an institutional thing, rather than a one-off (or several-off) is quite clear. However, there does not appear to be any suggestion of how this can realistically be addressed, hence my not being sure where this book is going.

This is a good book, and an excellent summary of events that have occurred and measures that have been taken to date to solve the problems, but it is clear that those measures have not been enough. What happens next, would be my question.
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