Yet another scandal hits the NHS, this time contained in the Cumberlege Report, covering investigations into Primodos, sodium valproate and pelvic mesh, and chaired by Baroness Cumberlege.  
Taking its title from The Hippocratic Oath, … First, Do No Harm – it paints a disgusting picture of today’s NHS.  What noted NHS guru Roy Lilley says “is about butchery, carelessness, system failure, arrogance, nonchalance, ignorance, thuggery, lies and covering-up.  Dissembling and dodging responsibility”.  Phew!  But having experienced NHS ‘cover ups’ myself, it sounds familiar.

Why is it when patients report a problem, we are made to feel we are impeding progress? Instead of regarding problems as a lesson to learn, the NHS treats us as whistle-blowers without bothering to check out what’s happened..

Cancer drugs made me blind in one eye, I could peel off skin in strips, and produced side effects including neuropathy, osteoporosis, heart problems .etc. The The Royal Brompton Hospital was extremely (not my ‘world famous’ cancer hospital) .  The Brompton has become used to patching up heart problems caused by cancer drugs, and doctors there are experts at cancer drug side effects, and – most important – how to deal with these.

The Baroness is on YouTube, or if you have the stomach for it, you can read the full report on Google.  Each page has evidence of patients’ experiences ignored and dismissed as ‘anecdotal’. Yes, I found that that too.

I went to France to get correct treatment for side effects and on my return I was confronted by a group of hospital hierachy.  They accused me of “not being supportive” of the hospital. Instead of asking what the French had successfully recommended to help clear up some of the problems I was experiencing, I found long-awaited appointments with a CNS were cancelled, and there was a distinct ‘cold shoulder’ shown me.

Today’s media headlines scream “Generation of Women betrayed by the NHS”;  “If we only ever sanctify the NHS, its harrowing failures will never be cured”, etc. and Allison Pearson in the Daily Telegraph had a big article telling “Why I didn’t clap to mark the NHS’s birthday”.

The Dept. Health and all the NHS hierachy are riding on the goodwill engendered by NHS staff, and are too scared to come out of their bunkers and admit that Cummberledge, Mid-Staffs and all the other reports show a shaming picture.  But until problems are addressed honestly, effectively and transparently, patients will continue to receive Third World care or worse.

Cumberledge has spent two years listening to stories of acute suffering; her report  is  “a necessary reminder not just to doctors but to the whole healthcare system. We are urging the system to do what it should have done years ago, to help those who have suffered and put in place the processes that will enable it to learn from past mistakes so that we spare other families from such anguish”.
Will the NHS listen and take note?
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