Holding the authorities to account for inhumane and degrading treatment of patients

Health and Wellbeing: Holding the authorities to account for inhumane and degrading treatment of patients

When things go wrong on a massive scale or over a prolonged period, human rights laws help to secure fairness for those directly affected and to trigger important changes for society as a whole.

In March 2009, the Healthcare Commission published a report into the care and treatment being provided at Stafford Hospital. It was estimated that between 400 to 1200 people had died unnecessarily due to the “appalling” standards of care provided at the Hospital and detailed many stories of patient abuse and neglect. When 100 families of patients who were mistreated at Stafford hospital used human rights laws to seek justice and secure compensation for the appalling treatment their relatives had been subjected to. Campaigning by Cure the NHS and protections in human rights law meant the Government had to set up a far-reaching independent inquiry into what went so badly wrong. The Mid-Staffordshire Inquiry made recommendations that should ensure NHS Trusts across the county learn lessons to prevent it happening again.
Hundreds of people have died; others have been starved, dehydrated and left in appalling conditions of indignity, witnessed by their loved ones.

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