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