Letter to the Editor


Letter to the Editor, 7th January 2024

I entered University College Hospital in the Euston Road for the second time last year after several heart attacks. Later I also had spells in the Royal Free Hospital in  Hampstead and Barts Hospital.

Much to my astonishment, I found that the aforementioned hospitals had embraced a much wider duty of care than is generally recognised as reasonable. In practice this meant that these hospitals were able and willing to prevent patients from leaving even if they wished to do so. It also imposed what amounted to imprisonment  without trial by insisting that patients are kept in hospital longer than is strictly necessary.

The current  madness in the NHS seems to be  this, they assume that everyone must not be exposed to the slightest risk. This means that anyone can be in effect forced to undergo treatment. Carried to  extremes in the NHS is this is not only deeply unpleasant but potentially financially ruinous.

To police this situation the hospitals employ a computer system whereby only the  staff can enter and leave without permission. This is policed using a swipe card system. No card, no entry.

To enforce these rules the hospitals employ heavy handed security personal – – I was assaulted on several occasions when I attempted to get past the door systems.

The legal mechanism of what is effectively imprisonment without trial is probably Deprivation of Liberty orders https://www.gov.uk/guidance/deprivation-of-liberty/ These require much less justification than, for example, criminal charges.

My advice to those contemplating going into hospital is to think very carefully about any treatment other than the most obvious emergency procedure although even that can result in a Deprivation of Liberty order. Something, evidently, is profoundly wrong with the NHS.

From Robert Henderson

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2 Responses to Letter to the Editor

  1. David Ashton says:

    Has the ECHR abolished Habeas Corpus?
    In other cases, hospitals can’t wait to chuck out “bed-blockers” into the community. My brother-in-law recently had a very serious and risky heart operation, but luckily a relative was able to bring him home in a small private car over a long and bumpy route, at short notice with no immediate after-care plan. An old friend of mine went into a Southend hospital for necessary treatment of a minor injury and died of Covid on the premises, as happened not long ago in Norwich also to another acquaintance. My elder daughter has several serious medical problems in Sussex but cannot secure appropriate treatment from local hospitals or her surgery. My wife has long been in continual severe pain, which analgesics rarely relieve, but is ruthless denied injections or morphine patches, and has a year before her NHS knee replacement (incidentally while still waiting for personal injury insurance compensation as the innocent victim of a serious road traffic collision 22 months ago)!
    Many others have far worse stories, though there are individual hardworking and dedicated specialists amid the chaos. Personally I have had no grumbles despite arthritis, BP, cancer, diabetes….&c (as yet).
    The NHS like much else lacks neither taxpayer “money” nor senior “management” so much as enough competent hands-on staff. (Never mind the Post Office, MoD, DfE, DEFRA, &c.) The key problem, nationally and internationally, is that the numbers of people requiring treatment, social care or regulation are now overwhelming the personnel available to provide them.

  2. Arthur Robinson says:

    Cheer up, you two!
    Look on the plus side: “NHS patients are being asked by doctors to choose from 159 religions, 12 genders and 10 sexual preferences before they attend hospital appointments.” – Laura Donnelly, Health Correspondent, Sunday Telegraph, 7 January 2024.

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