‘Insensitive’ NHS bosses hold event for grieving families in the ‘Ashes Suite’
Posted on 20/11/2017 by
One of the event's organisers wrote to distressed attendees apologising for the blunder
GRIEVING families were left stunned after NHS bosses organised a conference for them in a room called the Ashes suit.
75 families were invited to the national event, which was aimed at improving the way the NHS says sorry for its medical blunders.
The conference was held at the Oval cricket ground in London, but organisers of the two-day series of talks failed to spot the tactless choice of venue.
Attendees were baffled by the irony of meeting to learn about apologising for mistakes.
Karen Armstrong, whose mum died due to poor care, said: "Who can believe in all of London this was the only room available to them?"
Karen, from Durham, added: "The view was that if NHS managers didn't see the insensitivity of the venue it would be hard for them to be compassionate when patients died."
Another attendee - a grieving father who lost his son - said: "To say they had no other choice of where to meet is mind boggling. The people we're dealing with don't get it."
Organisers covered up the blunder with NHS logos on day two of the conference after a distressed woman, whose granddad had died, tweeted Health Secretary Jeremy hunt.
Justin Madders, Labour’s health spokesman, said: “This is unbelievable, crass, insensitive and distressing, all in equal measure.
“Our staff in the NHS do a tremendous job – and one of the most difficult things they have to do is tell a family they have lost a loved one.
“That’s why it’s so hard to understand how it was allowed to happen.”
NHS England published had even published a step-by-step guide to detailing the best way to say sorry.
Organiser Olivia Butterworth later wrote to families... saying sorry for the blunder.
She wrote: "I'd like to offer my heartfelt apology for this lack of attention to detail for the hurt it caused to many."
Last £1.7billion was paid in damages for medical negligence by the NHS, a record high fuelled by maternity blunders, reports the Mirror.
Representatives for Doctors have urged a cap on legal costs after the overall figure on negligence doubled since 2011.
The NHS Resolution figures show nearly £700,000 was spent on lawyers.
Peter Walsh, of charity Action against Medical Accidents, criticised the NHS for spending too much money on fighting claims instead of improving safety.
"The human cost is far greater than the financial cost," he said.
"Most of these would be avoided if the NHS investigated incidents better and recognised when they were at fault."