Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Your comments – Thank you

Daniel Sencier Submitted on 05/08/2014

Still one of the best NHS watchdog blogs ever

The Savvy Senorita Submitted on 09/07/2014

Interesting blog. I look forward to reading more.
Thanks for dropping by and following The Savvy Senorita, I appreciate it.
All the best, Bex

Jack Submitted 07/10/2012

How  amazing that you been able to turn your experience into something as positive as this.There was a market for this book but nobody  saw it except you, so give yourself a pat on the back- and the title is captivating – so I am sure you will do very well with it. 

good luck


Sheila Submitted 30/09/2012

Dear Joanna,

I think you are very brave and wonderful. Thank you for this new book. I am looking forward to reading it. Yes, together we can make a difference. Truth can never be forgotten when it is in print.

 Kind Regards


Carole Submitted 24th June

It would be a good idea if everyone who wrote to the blog with their own horror stories would also mail David Cameron. I have. I have yet to receive a reply from Andrew Lansley. I really do not think that anyone in government has the faintest idea of just how prevalent poor “care” (the 2 words are mutually exclusive) is in the NHS. Not just for the elderly, either. After all, ministers and their families will receive only good care! 2 standards, as usual. Waiting with bated breath for next news from D Street!

Marsha – Submitted on 2011/06/14 at 1:57 pm

How many people in vulnerable situations are “afraid” to speak? There must be so so many. How many elderly who do not have a soul in the world “cannot speak”? There must be so so many. Let us support this issue in every way we can. Lobby your local MP. Let those who cannot speak be heard.
I have written to Andrew Lansley and my local MP

Ann – Submitted on 2011/06/12 at 7:53 pm

There is discrimation of the elderly, poor care standards are nationwide.

Dan – Submitted on 2011/06/11 at 1:39 pm

Dear Joanna, just read your Blog, what an amazing story and lasting memory of your Mother, who you obviously loved to bits. It was very kind of you to comment on my Blog earlier today and I’ve had so much support that I feel overwhelmed, but very happy. Best wishes for the future, Dan Sencier xx

Carole – Submitted on 2011/06/10 at 6:10 pm

Good luck Joanna, I emailed Andrew Lansley recently about the NHS in general but have had no reply. This did not surprise me but don’t these people have secretaries, and what are they doing

Carole – Submitted on 2011/06/08 at 5:39 pm 

Why does David Cameron think we all love the NHS? If there was an alternative we’d be able to vote with our feet. I am very dubious about GPs being in charge of commissioning care- seems to me that this affects the GP/patient relationship radically and possibly not for the better.

Campaign for Better Care for the Elderly in the NHS – Submitted on 2011/06/06 at 10:51 am

Thank you for sharing this tragic account with everyone, a really sad and harrowing account – but unfortunatly one of many!

The more voices that get heard the better.

We too suffered the needless and permature death of an elderly relative after a routine bladder operation in an NHS hospital.

Wishing you happiness for the future.

Sue – Submitted on 2011/06/05 at 6:17 pm

Dear Joanna
I have read your Diary which was very well written yet just so upsetting your Late Mother sounded like a wonderful woman
All because this Hospital could’nt be bothered you have lost her and this must truly hurt
My heart goes out to you and your Family

Emma – Submitted on 2011/06/05 at 4:00 pm

I have just read the article, about Joanna’s mum, in today’s Mail on Sunday.
Given the state of NHS nursing, the article, whilst shocking, is of no surprise to me.
The Government says that the NHS needs to be reformed and that patients should expect the highest standard of care, but how can the NHS be reformed, if hospital nursing staff are not capable of caring?
Joanna, if you read my comment, may I suggest that you send your diary to Andrew Lansley and ask him what he plans to do to improve patient care.
Sinc ethe introduction of nursing degrees, nursing has become a lot worse and patients are suffering.
As for the nurses, who were responsible for the care of Mrs. Klein, were they reprimanded/sacked? No doubt the nurses who threw the soiled nightdress into the locker, would probably say that they can’t give the sort of care they want to give to patients, due to understaffing.
As for the male nurse, who could not be bothered to saty with Mrs. Klein, whilst she was being sick, I just hope that, should he need hospital care when he gets old, he receives the sort of care that he gave/gives to his patients.
I hope Joanna and her family have decided to sue the hospital concerned; maybe they should also consider taking out private prosecutions for manslaughter against the nurses who were in charge of her mum’s care.

Peter – Submitted on 2011/06/05 at 2:07 pm

I have just read Joanna Slater’s article in the “Mail on Sunday” which obviously raises great concerns and indeed parallels our experiences with the death of my father-in-law.

The difference being that I am a medical practitioner with a degree in law and work in the field of medical law.

Hopefully what I am writing has already been done in this case i.e. obtaining a copy of the deceased medical records from the hospital [need to make an application under the Access to Health Records Act]. I note that a complaint was raised with the hospital with a most unsatisfactory response. It may well be worthwhile making a complaint to the General Medical Council with regard to the junior doctors involved and also the consultant whose role includes the supervision of his juniors.

The last resort would be bringing a claim through the civil courts against the NHS Trust for clinical negligence on the part of the medical and nursing staff which it employs [if it were a private hospital, the claim would be for breach of contract]. This country has a Limitation Acts which states time scales in which claims must be brought. This is usually 3 years from the date of knowledge i.e. when the claimant became aware of the negligent act but there is a clause in this statute which gives the court discretion in allowing a later claim.

Indeed I was so convined of the negligence in father-in-law’s case that a complaint was made to the Police with regard to a charge of corporate manslaughter being raised against the NHS Trust – unfortunately the police refused to investigate this because they did “not have the experience or the resources”.

I trust that these general comments are of assistance and please feel free to contact me at

Jean – Submitted on 2011/06/05 at 2:07 pm

I left nursing before the end of my training because there were so many things happening that I disagreed with and I was deeply unhappy with many aspects of the NHS. I wish to make the following comments. I must defend the University training of student nurses because it is excellent, I cannot stress this enough. The importance of client-centred care, dignity, confidentiality, communication etcetera are drummed into students. Problems occur solely because of the way our hospitals are run nowadays. For example managers know that the wards are short-staffed but nevertheless the nurses are expected to look after more patients than they can physically cope with. Perhaps the public are unaware that female patients are not obliged to submit to being washed by a male nurse, they can insist on a female nurse. I would certainly not allow a male nurse to wash me. If a male nurse insisted on washing a female patient against her wishes that would be assault. The use of the phrase “it will be curtains for her” was disgraceful, shame on that consultant. A good nurse would never, never make a patient feel “degraded” for messing the bed – it upsets me to think this is how this lady felt. There is a no difference between “a nurse” and “a nursing assistant”. People assume they are the same – they are not. Reference Joanna’s November the 1st blog, if nursing assistants, or auxiliaries as they were once called, were obliged to concentrate solely on basic tasks such as washing, feeding and emptying bedpans, as they used to, instead of dressing wounds and taking blood etcetera, perhaps patients would not be left for “half an hour”. Reading this blog has made me even more certain that I was right to leave. If ever I am unfortunate enough to be a patient myself in the future rest assured I will raise hell if things are unsatisfactory

Sinead – Submitted on 2011/06/05 at 12:42 pm

I was saddened to read your article in the Sunday Mail today although not surprised. I work in an NHS Trust who are always blowing their trumpets, flogging “patients 1st” schemes. Patients do not come first in today’s NHS. It is not always shortness of staff – it’s the type of person who goes into nursing now. Salaries are not to be sniffed at any more (although everyone always wants more it seems). Training, more often than not takes place in university/college settings as opposed to the old method of starting “at the bottom” on the wards and finding the time to study in your own time!

Complaining to NHS trusts is pointless – I agree, they all have a standard PALS (patient & Liaison Service – yeah right!)reply – we are improving/looking into our procedures. Woud be interesting to obtain a freedom of information total of complaints to NHS trusts over the last 12 months concerning basic care (no medical knowledge required) washing, washing hair,teeth,brushing hair – would be interesting.

Thank you for sharing Joanna – please don’t leave it here……..find out more…….don’t let there be another Kay.

Davina – Submitted on 2011/06/05 at 10:51 am

This is such a disturbing story. I have lived in Third World countries where you expect this kind of thing, not in the UK. Well done for bringing this to people’s attention. Britain no longer has a health service to be proud of. The treatment of our elderly is appalling and one dreads the prospect of ever having to go into hospital for anything. My thoughts are with you Joanna. Quite obviously you will never get over the way your mother was treated in hospital. What a very harrowing experience for you and your family

Lucy – Submitted on 2011/02/18 at 7:24 pm

I have been in tears reading your blog. I didn’t know just how awful it had been for your your mum (and you and your family). I admire you for blogging this story as it must have been very hard for you to revisit all those harrowing memories. I hope it raises awareness of how the elderly are often neglected in hospital under NHS care and I hope the situation will change for the better xx

Marsha – Submitted on 2011/02/15 at 10:14 am

This is a truly harrowing story, and it is a reflection of other stories of which we hear, but are never spoken. I do hope the author can promote this in some way, so that these occurrences become obsolete. This morning, 15 February, there is comment in the media regarding treatment of the elderly in the NHS SYSTEM. We do know that the elderly are not always given the best available care, but to reiterate this case, it is just another sad and tragic tale of a woman that could have lived for many more years.

Helen – Submitted on 2011/01/19 at 10:57 am

Reading this diary of Kay’s illness operation and the long stay in hospital only proves that things can go wrong and do go wrong,, unfortunately when things do go wrong nothing can be done after the event, but i hope that writing this diary it will help you Joanna. As you are a very deep thinker you know that I understand what feelings you went through during this time and what you are thinking now. It is what I say is bercheit meaning what will be will be. Writing is a good means to healing. We all love our mothers and wish that we could have done somthing more to have more time with them. lots of love your cousin x

Consultants don’t give straight answers,if they have something to hide, in my experience they lie, fob you off and delay appointments,helped by incompetent staff, I suppose hoping you will just go away, they write rose tinted letters to G.P.’s saying everything is fine, picking out the good parts, patients can request a copy of this, The questionaire sent out 6 months later is one sided, does not ask questions about how the operation has affected other parts of body, which it can do,complain, it’s the only thing to do.

– Anon, UK, 5/6/2011 11:38

The need for nurses to have a degree was always the wrong move. Not all those who can be nurses can gain a degree and not all those who can gain a degree can be nurses.

One Response

  1. Jesus Fortez says:

    I really enjoyed your blog! I put it in my favorites so I can come back again. I found it on Bing.


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