The Patients Association, a British charity, has reported that over one million have received appalling care under the National Health Service system in the UK.

The charity has disclosed a horrifying catalogue of elderly people left in pain, in soiled bed clothes, denied adequate food and drink, and suffering from repeatedly cancelled operations, missed diagnoses and dismissive staff.

The Patients Association said the dossier proves that while the scale of the scandal at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust – where up to 1,200 people died through failings in urgent care – was a one off, there are repeated examples they have uncovered of the same appalling standards throughout the NHS.

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While the criticisms cover all aspects of hospital care, the treatment and attitude of nurses stands out as a repeated theme across almost all of the cases.

While this is only a small portion of those using the NHS – 2 percent or so – the absolute numbers are staggering. Under a patient-centered, for-profit system, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would voluntarily remain under such care. A hospital, or hospital system, responsible for “cruel and neglectful” care of so many patients would surely go out of business, and rightly so, but things become a lot more complicated when it’s all funded by the state.

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