Our production line hospitals, by worried GPs: Family doctors say patients are being put at risk because of 'dangerously poor' care'I wouldn't send my dog to Princess Royal University Hospital in Farnborough', says GP from KentOne in 10 GPs say one of their patients died because of poor care in hospitalOne in five would not want to be cared for at their local hospial
A third of family doctors say their patients are being put at risk in NHS hospitals because of ‘dangerously’ poor care, a survey has revealed.
They liken wards to ‘factory production lines’ and admit they would not refer their own family.
One said he would not even like his dog to be treated at one hospital.
Care fears: Nearly a third of doctors say their patients are being put at risk in NHS hospitals because of poor standards (picture posed by models)
One in ten thinks that in the past 12 months at least one of their patients died unnecessarily because the hospital either misdiagnosed them or they were not given the correct treatment.
The poll exposes a widespread lack of faith in NHS hospitals.
More than one in five (21 per cent) believe the care at their nearest hospital is so dire they would not want to be treated there themselves – and they would not send in their relatives.
One family doctor in the North East said that when his wife recently went to hospital there was ‘no appreciation of the human side to her care’.
‘She was in a tunnel where she went in one side and came out the other as if on a factory production line,’ he said.
Another unnamed GP in South London said that in the local hospital he was aware of ‘patients not being fed, not being washed, the sort of care that none of us would want ourselves or for our patients’.
One from Romford, Essex, said he had written to the chief executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals telling her care was so bad that if he had his way he ‘would not refer a single patient’.
Some 34 per cent of doctors said that in the past 12 months at least one of their patients had been subject to hospital care that was ‘dangerously sub-standard’. And nearly three quarters, 74 per cent, said patients had complained to them about the poor treatment on wards.
'Poor care': A GP said he would not send his dog to the Princess Royal University Hospital in Farnborough, Kent
A fifth said they had taken patients to one side before they were admitted to warn them about care.
And a third (32 per cent) said they had written to NHS managers to voice their concerns.
Another 18 per cent said the hospital care that either they or a family member had received was below standard.
Five hundred GPs were questioned for the survey by family doctor magazine Pulse.
An unnamed GP in South London said
that in the local hospital he was aware of ‘patients not being fed, not
being washed, the sort of care that none of us would want ourselves or
for our patients’.
Last year a series of damning reports by the Care Quality Commission, the Health Service Ombudsman and the Patients Association unearthed harrowing cases of neglect in many hospitals.
But this poll reveals for the first time the extent of unease among the NHS’s own doctors.
One Oxford GP said that when he asked John Radcliffe Hospital to investigate why his patient had died because staff had misdiagnosed her ovarian cancer, the trust replied saying it had done nothing wrong.
Another, in Norfolk, said that his patients are ‘frequently’ being sent home from hospitals too early and many end up going back ‘within a few hours’.
Katherine Murphy, of the Patients Association, said: ‘That so many GPs do not have faith in their local hospital is deeply concerning. These results should not be swept under the carpet.’
Dr Richard Vautrey, of the British Medical Association’s GPs committee, said doctors should raise issues directly with the hospital concerned, adding: ‘If we want the best care we must not stay silent when issues arise.’
A spokesman for the Department of Health said the poll only represented a ‘small proportion’ of the 40,000 GPs in the country.
He added: ‘That said, we are never complacent about patient safety, and have made it very clear that unsafe care will not be tolerated. This is exactly why we want GPs to take charge of services, in order to arrange the care they think is best for their patients.’