In this video series, Michael Mandelstam talks about his new book, How We Treat the Sick, which shows beyond question that neglectful care is a systemic blight, rather than mere local blemish, within the UK’s health services.
In the book, Mandelstam analyses the causes and factors involved, reveals the widespread denial and lack of accountability on the part of those responsible – and spells out the political, moral, professional and legal implications of this failure to care for the most vulnerable of patients with humanity and compassion. Most important, he points to the main obstacles to a solution – and to how they can be removed and change be accomplished.
Part 1: The “substantial seam of bad” in the UK health service
Part 2: The Mid Staffordshire Inquiry
Part 3: Finding a Solution to Poor and Neglectful Care
Part 4: Focusing on Practice, not Politics
Copyright © Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2011.
Michael Mandelstam is marvellous. I can’t wait to read this new book. His writing is always impeccably researched and his critique is devastating. He is always clear, calm and to the point. He is spot on about the Mid Staffs enquiry.
I shall be most interested in this aspect:
‘Part 3: Finding a Solution to Poor and Neglectful Care’
After a less than satisfactory year, and more, simply trying to ensure that what happened to my Mother did not get repeated by a clearly flawed oversight system, I find myself dealing with two overlapping but interfering Parliamentary Ombudsmen already, with the possibility raised only today of another, the LGO, and… possibly… a requirement to head off to the GMC on top! It is almost as if they are trying to ensure folk give up. I have, and will not. But the money consumed so far on tail chasing and blame re-assigning that could have gone simply to making elder care better, beggars belief.
Bearing in mind my overarching point that there are too many folk, too often pointing anywhere but at the problem, and too many are falling between unnecessary cracks as a consequence, the sick irony of this is not lost on me.
Thank you so much for writing this book and sharing the truth about the current situation. The systemic seam of bad not only makes the lives of elderly people sheer misery when they have little life left and should be given the best quality of life, or when are dying and should be supported as they depart, but it creates mayhem in the lives of the relatives who care about them, try to bring attention to what is happening and meet denial, obfuscation and bullying. Then there is the guilt and horror experienced by those families after the death of a loved one when they have failed to improve the life of an elderly parent or relative. It takes years to recover from the damage. If Policy makers only think in £££ then they might think simply in terms of the knock on effect on the health needs of those left and the impact of that on the economy and the NHS!
It’s high time people from within the mental health were at last speaking about the atrocities
in for the most part a profession in denial or that uses ‘lack of funding’ as coverall excuse for
neglect and down right cruelty as shown by the events at Stafford Hospital as now only this at Winterbourne ‘ Care’ facility in Bristol- a hardly more incriminating inditement of a mental health service in crisis by people who behave as though were prisoners not patients!
In wales we have a Dickensian system of mental health ‘care’ in our capital city at the 19th century asylum in the suburb of Whitchurch in Cardiff .You need not go to Abu Ghraib you have only to go there to see human rights violated there daily by people who have committed no crime.
Thank you for this book. The lack of accountability of managers is very clear. I have never understood why, although Doctors have to have a Medical Degree and are regulated professionally by the GMC, so called managers do not need an MBA and are accountable to no-one, not even to Health Scrutiny Committees as we have seen in Suffolk.