Though written in a restrained, professional manner, the Care Quality Commission report on their unannounced inspection of Worcester Royal Hospital on 16th December 2019, published on Thursday 13th February 2020, cannot conceal the awful truth of the problems there and now widespread across NHS England, after a decade of Tory neglect and privatisation shocks the reader. Were it in Scotland, I feel sure BBC Scotland’s Health Correspondent would find much to worry you with.

In the steady wake of plummeting A&E waiting times to levels way below NHS Scotland, hospital builds years late and way over budget in Liverpool and in the Midlands, Norovirus, measles and mumps epidemics as inoculation rates fall, multiple unavoidable baby deaths in East Kent and Shropshire and among the elderly in Stafford, and a damning inspection report in the North Midlands, we now read:

As a result of this inspection, and due to the level of concern we had, CQC opted to use their urgent enforcement powers to ensure the provider took swift action to protect service users from harm. We imposed a range of conditions on the provider’s registration including, but not limited to requiring the trust to ensure that all patients who arrived by
ambulance were clinically assessed within 15 minutes, in order the trust could determine the sickest patients or those patients who required time critical care or treatment.

Patient’s continued to be nursed along the corridor for extended periods of time. The total number of hours patient’s spent on the corridor was reported as 9,530 hours in January 2019 and 7,952 hours in December 2019. A review of data for each month in 2019 suggested limited overall improvement, suggesting staff had normalised the use of the corridor as compared to the use of the corridor only being reserved for times of significant surge.

Nothing comparable is happening in any Scottish Hospital. How can I be sure? We can all be sure that even a trace of such neglect and harm, just one case even, and Reporting Scotland would be all over it!