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Patients Association launches damning report into poor care in England’s Hospitals.

The Patients Association today launches its report “We’ve been listening, have you been learning?” which details sixteen accounts of poor hospital care heard by its Helpline in the last year.

The report contains some shocking accounts of care received by patients in hospitals across the country, focusing on four key fundamentals of care-communication, access to pain relief, assistance with toileting and help with eating and drinking.

The accounts show that patients continue to be failed in these key areas.  Cases in the report include-

  • Jessie Thayer, whose daughters despaired at the failure of nurses to attend to her basic hygiene needs whilst she was a patient at Frimley Park Hospital.
  • Helena Grimwood, who whilst being treated at Southend Hospital was often left ‘desperately thirsty’ according to her daughter, who also said nurses neglected her toileting needs.
  • Brian Smith, whose wife alleges that she had to run out into the corridor screaming for help as her husband lay dying in his bed, because nobody answered the call buzzer.
  • Barry Woodward, who had to wait seven hours for an ambulance and was then not given any pain relief on arrival at hospital.

Launching the report Angela Rippon OBE, Vice President of the Patients Association said “This report raises serious issues about the quality of care that patients are receiving on our hospital wards.  It’s not enough for hospitals to say that they have recognised care hasn’t been good enough in the past and promise improvements for the future.”

Speaking about the launch of the report Patients Association Chief Executive Katherine Murphy said “The accounts of care contained in this report shame everyone involved.  It’s simply not good enough for this report to be recognised and then business to carry on as usual. There needs to be a culture shift in the way we treat patients on our wards. I would continue to urge patients or relatives experiencing similar care to contact our Helpline on 08456 08 44 55. ”

We are also launching an appeal to expand the work of our Helpline. We need your help to continue to expand our Helpline to enable us to support and assist people who contact us.No matter how big or how small your donation is, it is greatly appreciated.

If you would like to support the Patients Association Helpline Appeal,
please click here.

Notes for Editors

  1. The Patients Association is a campaigning charity, listening to patients and speaking up for change. It has been working for 48 years to make sure that the patient voice is heard and listened to by policy makers.
  2. For further information please contact the Patients Association on 02084239111 or on 07779004898 if outside of the hours 9-5.30pm.
  3. Interviews with the people providing accounts in this report can be arranged via 0208 4239111. Interviews with Angela Rippon OBE or other representatives from the Patients Association can also be arranged via this number.
  4. A copy of the “We’ve been listening, have you been learning?” report is attached below.
  5. The Patient Associations website is www.patients-association.com. Copies of previous reports and other news releases can be found here.


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