- Elderly patients are being left hungry at mealtimes, whistleblowers revealed
- Other patients are moved to different wards during the middle of the night
- Some are being washed at 4.30am because staff can’t do it during the day
Hospital patients are being woken at 4.30am to be washed because staff have no time to care for them during the day, NHS whistleblowers have revealed.
The elderly are left hungry at mealtimes as no one has time to help them eat, while others are moved to different wards in the middle of the night.
The reports were made to the Care Quality Commission confidential whistleblowing helpline. Charity Age UK called them ‘profoundly dispiriting’ and said they highlighted ‘basic’ failings in care.
In one hospital, newly-qualified junior doctors were doing ward rounds instead of consultants. At another, whistleblowers revealed there were only four nurses for a ward of 46 patients.
Allegations at other NHS trusts included racism towards patients, faulty equipment, managers manipulating waiting list figures and staff bullied for raising concerns.
Patient campaigners said it was ‘very sad’ that patients were being woken at night as staff were so overworked.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: ‘We all know our hospitals are under great pressure but some of the failings complained about here are really basic. In particular, it is profoundly dispiriting to be still reading about older people not getting the help they need to eat and drink in hospital.’
The CQC helpline for reporting concerns was set up following the Mid Staffordshire scandal, in which hundreds died from poor care.
The Mail obtained anonymised details of 86 allegations from the five most complained-about NHS trusts in 2016 under Freedom of Information Act laws. Many are still under investigation.