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Your news item on NCEPOD's recent report prompts to me to mention the
problems caused for those patients who do not die in hospital. This group
may lack senior supervision prior to discharge. The only input to the
written discharge letters to general practioners may be the most junior
doctor of the team who may have no senior guidance. When the only senior
staffing of hospitals is locums who may only be present for a few days,
there is no continuity of care or supervision of patients, nor of those
letters which may, or may not, be sent to the general practioner. Worse,
with the inevitable collapse of the 'firm' system in United Kingdom
hospitals, young colleagues are not attached to a particular team or
consultant for as long as previously, and the situation is aggravated.
I am informed that the concept of a ward round with doctors and
nurses both present is long past in some hospitals.
It seems that Royal Colleges' power of veto of suitability of
hospital posts for training is now subjugated to the authority of the
The hazards of whistleblowing were highlighted in the BMJ recently.
George Orwell's oft quoted comment,'In a time of universal deceit, telling
the truth is a revolutionary act', may need some consideration.
Should there be a national body to look at the care of those who
survive a stay in British hospitals?