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Secret filming in the NHS reveals worrying treatment of brain injury patients

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

BBC Newsnight has revealed worryingly low standards of care being provided to patients suffering from brain injuries in NHS hospitals.  Secret footage was passed onto Newsnight by the partner of a brain-injury victim, which showed extreme cases of patient neglect and highlighted hospital failures concerning safety procedures.  After seeing the footage, one expert told Newsnight that the levels of care being provided to patients would result in longer and poorer recoveries from their injuries.

NHS England has defended the case by telling BBC that they are constantly trying to improve their specialist services for the likes of brain injury rehabilitation.  However, footage of this patient revealed a complete lack of basic care from some staff members with one healthworker cleaning the feeding and medicine tube with a pen nib, and another healthworker providing drinks to the patient despite him being marked as nil-by-mouth.  These findings suggest that the problem lies not in a lack of specialist equipment, but a lack of training and monitoring of hospital staff.

‘He was left in urine, all the time’

At the age of 43 Grant Clarke was left severely disabled following a brain haemorrhage last year.  Within his 12 weeks at hospital he made steady progress but his family said that poor care definitely reflected in the rate of his recovery.  They said that when Grant was transferred to the West Kent Neuro-rehabilitation Unit in Sevenoaks he received very poor care and a poor standard of rehabilitation.  His partner Binny said: “He didn’t have his armpits washed. He was left in urine, all the time. Every time I went to see him he was wet to his armpits, and cold.”  As a result of her concerns, she inserted a hidden camera in his room to monitor his care, which she then sent to Newsnight.

The NHS Trust have apologised for these findings but said that an action plan has been created to address the highlighted issues.

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