Top critical review
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Not sure where this book is going
on 21 May 2011
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.