STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Exposure: NHS Out of Hours Undercover

An undercover probe into  Care UK , Britain’s biggest provider of out-of-hours services, has revealed patients are put at “huge risk”.

Click on the link below to watch. Only on ITVplayer for 30 days. Don’t miss it  

https://www.itv.com/itvplayer/exposure-nhs-out-of-hours-undercover

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Healthcare providers face fines for missing the national four-hour target for all emergency departments to conclude 95% of cases. But covert footage has suggested doctors are discharging patients when they near the limit. They continue to receive treatment later on, but off the books. Suzanne Mason, professor of Emergency medicine at the University of Sheffield, said: “By discharging somebody off your system before they’ve left the department, there’s a huge risk something could happen to that patient.”

The month-long probe by ITV’s Exposure, presented by Mark Austin was broadcast on Wednesday night 22nd July which exposed major concerns at Care UK’s 24-hour Ealing Urgent Care Centre, West London.

One doctor told an undercover reporter he discharged a patient to meet the target. He said: “It’s all… playing the game. I’ve discharged her, but I’m still dealing with her. So as far as statistics are concerned she was discharged within four hours.” Two days later, the same doctor said he had discharged another patient before treatment finished. He added: “It happens a lot.”

Care UK said both the firm and doctor “refuted any suggestion patients have been discharged before treatment is complete”. The probe into Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s NHS also revealed patients were given thermometers to take their temperature, to determine which were seen first. Care UK, which had a turnover of more than £700million last year, said “this does not appear to be good practice”, and it “will undertake any retraining necessary.” Other alleged failings included empty medicine cabinets, and work experience students being told to check up on patients when staff were busy. Care UK said: “Stocks of medications are monitored closely.” It added students should not have been asked to check up on patients.

 

Filed under: GP's, Hospital, Named & Shamed, NHS, NHS Blunders, Whistleblowing, , , ,

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