The NHS drew up secret plans to withdraw hospital care from people in nursing homes in the event of a pandemic, The Telegraph can disclose.
Confidential Whitehall documents show that the NHS plans refused treatment to those in their 70s and that “support” would instead be offered to use so-called “end of life pathways”.
The strategy was drawn up by NHS England following a pandemic planning exercise in 2016 and was designed to stop hospitals being overwhelmed.
How many more patients were left to die as a result of this hidden prejudice? Office for National Statistics figures from last year show nearly six in 10 who died with coronavirus in England were disabled. These vulnerable people’s families have a right to know whether their beloved relatives were sacrificed on the altar of NHS capacity and so do we.
For if they were effectively regarded as “collateral damage” during a national emergency, what does it say about the treatment of patients with learning disabilities or mental illness, in general?
The pressure of the pandemic has clearly been used as an excuse to explain away some of these decisions – but there can surely be no justification for refusing to resuscitate otherwise physically healthy patients, regardless of the state of their mental faculties. And in a world when everyone seems to be banging on about discrimination of one kind or another, where is the clarion call for equality for disabled people seemingly being treated like second class citizens in a health service that is supposed to care unequivocally for all?
Patients with mental illness and learning disabilities were given “do not resuscitate” orders during the pandemic, The Telegraph can disclose.
Families, carers and doctors have said that medics decided that patients with these conditions should not be resuscitated if their heart stopped – a decision which in one case appears to have led to the patient’s death.
People with learning disabilities have been given do not resuscitate orders during the second wave of the pandemic, in spite of widespread condemnation of the practice last year and an urgent investigation by the care watchdog.
This is a BMJ Rapid Response letter by Dr Janet Menage, Wales, UK, in response to Covid-19: Social murder, they wrote-elected, unaccountable, and unrepentant, by Kamran Abbasi. You can find the full response in the link below.
From a medical perspective, it was clear early on in the crisis that disregarding clinical acumen in favour of blind obedience to abnormal ventilation measures, reliance on an unsuitable laboratory test for diagnosis and management, and abandoning the duty of care to elderly hospitalised patients and those awaiting diagnosis and treatment of serious diseases, would create severe problems down the line.
Doctors who had empirically found effective pharmaceutical remedies and preventative treatments were ignored, or worse, denigrated or silenced. Information regarding helpful dietary supplements was suppressed.
- Pensioners were given the ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ notices against their wishes
- Now NHS England plans to give everyone aged over 65 a ‘national frailty score’
- The new programme involves a ‘geriatric assessment’, sometimes by phone
These four pensioners are bravely fighting back against a draconian NHS policy that sees over-65s assessed for frailty and handed notices saying they will be denied resuscitation if they suffer a heart attack or stop breathing.
…All too often it seems these orders have been handed out secretly by NHS staff without the patient’s consent or even their knowledge.
Care homes were asked to introduce blanket “do not resuscitate” orders for all residents at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been claimed.
The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI), a charity promoting community nursing, found that one in ten care homes were ordered to introduce the measure without discussion with staff, family members or the residents. It was intended to help keep hospital beds free.
Half of staff members who said that they had been asked to change DNRs worked in homes for people with learning or cognitive disabilities. The other half worked in homes for the elderly.
Alison Leary, professor of healthcare and workforce modelling at London South Bank University and the author of the report, described the findings as worrying…
- Non-COVID patients were put in with COVID patients, then marked with Do Not Resuscitate orders.
- Hospitals have a financial incentive to mark patients as COVID-19.
- Doctors stopped treating people as humans. Inexperienced doctors were practicing on patients.
- COVID-19 has been proven to be easily treatable with the Hydroxychloroquine/Zinc/Antibiotic protocol
- People were coming in too late due to fear.
- Patients were unnecessarily put on ventilators. “They want to use the vents.”
- Patients were put in restraints “due to laziness.”
- New York may have been hit hard because their hospitals were already struggling. They couldn’t afford to keep them open.