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Scandal-hit hospital forced to pay 1m compensation for 'inhumane and 'degrading' treatment of patients
Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation
Trust paid out the significant sum as compensation for 'inhumane and degrading' treatment, say lawyers
News comes a month ahead of report of the public inquiry into the serious failings at the trustBetween 400-1,200 patients feared to have died needlessly between 2005-2008
14:39 GMT, 10 December 2012
A scandal-hit hospital where thirsty patients were forced to drink out of vases and others left to sit on their own excrement has paid out more than 1 million in compensation for 'inhumane and degrading' treatment.
Human Rights solicitor Emma Jones, who
is part of a legal team representing more than 100 victims of alleged
abuse at Stafford Hospital, said today that Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation
Trust paid out the significant sum to patients or their families.
The news comes a month ahead of the publication of the report of the public inquiry into the serious failings at the trust.
More than 100 victims of alleged abuse at Stafford Hospital have received part of a 1m payout after receiving 'inhumane standards of care
Inquiry chair Robert Francis QC said the report will be published in January. The 11 million inquiry, which was commissioned in 2010, is examining what went wrong at the trust between January 2005 and March 2009.
In 2009, a separate highly-critical report by the Healthcare Commission revealed a catalogue of failings at the trust and said “appalling standards” put patients at risk.
Between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected in a three-year period from 2005 to 2008, the Commission said.
In February 2010, an independent inquiry into events at the trust found it had 'routinely neglected patients'.
Human Rights solicitor Emma Jones fears similar treatment may be occurring at other hospitals
Ms Jones said patients were left to sit in faeces for extended periods of time and food and drink were purposefully put out of reach with thirsty patients who forced to drink water out of flower vases.
She said: 'Having visited the families of those who died, or victims who survived the horrors of this hospital, you cannot help but become angry and extremely worried that this is happening elsewhere, with the same
excuses being given and blind eyes being cast to what is torture of the most vulnerable in a place where care should be the single most important feature.
'We believe that care in some hospitals is so bad it continues to breach the European Convention on Human Rights.
'We await the report into Stafford Hospital and hope that change does come to what is still a healthcare system to be proud of and which remains the envy of the world, but it needs to continually improve and learn
lessons from when things go wrong and have the systems in place for these issues to come to the surface and not be buried under bureaucracy or, even worse, disguised for financial benefit.'