Friday, 11 November 2011

No we don't, we need to give them a glass of water...

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Baroness Greengross, who used to run Age Concern, says:

The government should introduce a nationwide policy to ensure elderly patients in hospitals do not get dehydrated, a former head of Age Concern has said.

I am led to believe that there are people called "nurses" in hospitals whose job is to look after patients who are there for treatment, operations or convalescence. Might I suggest that, if those nurses are doing their job properly they will give elderly patients a drink - a glass of water, maybe a cup of tea?

However the response from Baroness Thornton, Labour's health spokesman is priceless:

Baroness Thornton accused the government of “washing its hands of a hydration policy” and called for ministers to provide “leadership”.

You couldn't make this stuff up, could you? What next, a national strategy for making beds?

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2 comments:

johnpopham said...

My experience of a number of elderly relatives in hospital is that they often don't eat or drink unless helped to do so, and the nursing staff are too busy, or don't see it as their job, to do so.

When both my late mother-in-law, and my mother, were in hospital for extended stays, we had to have a rota of visits to feed them and help them drink. Otherwise, food and drink was cleared away untouched.

I heard a story only the other day of someone whose elderly father died of starvation in hospital.

Mike Chitty said...

A recent experience with the NHS showed its great ability to perform a high tech and high cost operation and then to provide stunning 121 care in intensive care and on the high dependency unit. However it then went on to demonstrate a complete inability to provide edible food or effective 'hydration' once transferred to the ward for three weeks of recuperation.

The problem here lies in the different power bases in different silos and a lack of concern for patient experience on their journey through the system. And as for 'discharge'? Best call that a bureaucratic process for liability avoidance....