Another UK Health Care Horror Story Which U.S. Press Will Ignore

Posted on Mon 12/10/2012 by


BlumerBy Tom Blumer ~NHSlogoWide

The UK’s National Health Service has been around since the late 1940s. Despite over 60 years of trying to get health care right, it still doesn’t come anywhere close. This long-term failure has done nothing to deter the Obama administration and Democrats from attempting to replicate the horror here in the U.S.

The latest example of scandalous neglect comes from a Labour MP, carried in the usually left-leaning UK Guardian and many other British news outlets. Readers can count on it not being noticed by the U.S. press (HT Samizdat via Instapundit). The second-last paragraph in the excerpt following seems to give away a feeling by the dead victim’s wife that she’s somehow betraying her statist brothers and sisters by speaking out:

Ann Clwyd: my husband died like a battery hen in hospital

Ann Clwyd has said her biggest regret is that she didn’t “stand in the hospital corridor and scream” in protest at the “almost callous lack of care” with which nurses treated her husband as he lay dying in the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

Clwyd, the Labour MP for Cynon Valley since 1984 and Tony Blair’s former human rights envoy to Iraq, told the Guardian she fears a “normalisation of cruelty” is now rife among NHS nurses. She said she had chosen to speak out because this had become “commonplace”.

Describing how her 6’2” husband lay crushed “like a battery hen” against the bars of his hospital bed with an oxygen mask so small it cut into his face and pumped cold air into his infected eye, Clwyd said nurses treated the dying man with “coldness, resentment, indifference and even contempt”.

… Clwyd said that on the Friday before (her husband Owen) Roberts died, she asked if he could have a bigger oxygen mask. “I was just ignored,” she said. “I had to put my own Lypsyl on his lips because they became so chapped …by the cold air the mask pumped out and there were no nurses around. It was us, not the nurses, who put a pillow between him and the bars of the bed because the bed was too small and he was jammed so tightly against the bars.

“It was us again who covered him with a towel because he was cold and we couldn’t get more than two thin blankets to cover him with. And it was us who put socks on his feet because they hung over the end of the too-short bed.

“I can’t believe anybody calling themselves a nurse could fail to give someone who is very ill that kind of attention but it was completely missing,” Clwyd added. Nobody should have to die in conditions like I saw my husband die in. I have tried in the past to get Bills through parliament on the welfare of battery hens. My husband died like a battery hen.”

Clwyd, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group, was on the Royal Commission on the NHS and served on the Welsh hospital board. But she said that regardless of her experience and knowledge, she found it impossible to make her voice heard.

“It’s uncomfortable speaking out and I don’t like it but if I couldn’t get anyone to listen to me, how do other people manage it?” she asked. “I want people to know that they can’t leave things to the professionals in the NHS. You have to keep asking questions.

Clwyd said she “will always regret that I did not ask more questions” but that whenever she tried, she was ignored or brushed off.

If a Labour MP can’t get better treatment for her husband, the average Briton is completely out of luck. An experienced politician and advocate like Ms. Clywd probably isn’t uncomfortable about the exposure, but about having to admit and expose the awful truth about what NHS has become.

A search at the national site of the Associated Press on Clywd’s last name comes up empty. A Google News search came up with about three dozen results, none of which is from a U.S. establishment press outlet.

Cross-posted at .

Tom Blumer is president of a training and development company in Mason, Ohio, and is a contributing editor to NewsBusters

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