The Prince of Wales has made a direct plea to doctors and nurses to listen to their patients and to show them “human kindness” following reports of patient neglect at a hospital in Worcestershire.
In an article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the prince said the industry must "listen and honour what is being said and not said by patients".
He added that a health service's vision should acknowledge "physical and social environment, education, agriculture and architecture".
A catalogue of failings uncovered by the mass legal action is one of the worst ever exposed at an NHS hospital, The Sunday Telegraph reported. It included:
- A former nurse whose son said she died after being left unwashed for 11 weeks.
- A 35-year-old father-of-four whose family told how he wasted away.
- A pensioner who was left screaming in pain when his ribs were broken.
- A man who could not feed himself.
- A great-grandmother left permanently unable to walk.
The hospital has paid out £410,000 in 38 separate cases, with the largest settlement at £22,500.
Most are of about £10,000 for each family for the appalling conditions endured by patients from 2002 to November 2011.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he is "disgusted and appalled" at reports of patient neglect at a hospital in Worcestershire. The worst instance of mistreatment at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch was a patient starved to death, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
The health trust concerned is writing to 38 families and is to admit its failings in each case, the newspaper said. In a statement, the trust issued an apology over its "shortcomings".