Why You Should Keep
Away From Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital
Dr Vernon Coleman
I was sad but not in the slightest bit surprised to read that
a couple died after contracting c.difficle in Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.
My mother spent some weeks in the same hospital before she died and as a doctor
I was absolutely appalled by what I saw. I'm afraid that my only surprise is
that so many patients are still alive when they leave Royal Devon and Exeter
It is not, of course, the hospital's fault that killer bugs
Killers such as c.difficile and s.aureus developed as a
result of greed and incompetence among people who really should have known
The primary cause of superbug infections in hospitals is the
over-use of antibiotics, and two groups of people are directly
Doctors knew that by handing out
unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics they were creating deadly
drug-resistant organisms. But it was easy and convenient to continue dishing out
powerful antibiotics to patients with colds and flu.
For years most antibiotics have been given not to human patients but to
farm animals. Farmers give antibiotics to cattle and other animals because the
drugs produce extra muscle. And that means more meat and more profit. Vets have
known the dangers for decades. But they have steadfastly ignored the dangers in
order to make a quick buck.
Overprescribing is the cause of
antibiotic-resistant bugs. And we can blame doctors and vets for that.
But when these bugs run riot in hospitals I think it's nurses who really
should take the blame.
The rise in the incidence of superbugs is a
phenomenon almost unknown outside the NHS and in my opinion it is a direct
result of poor management and appallingly low standards of nursing.
visited the Royal Devon and Exeter on numerous occasions and was invariably
shocked at what I saw. Too many members of staff seemed to me to have very
little idea of the basic principles of hygiene. On one occasion, for example, I
watched in horror as an employee wheeled a food trolley into a room where an
infected patient was supposedly being `barrier' nursed. The trolley pusher took
no precautions whatsoever and on coming out of the room containing the infected
patient she happily continued onto the ward.
Nurses used to be respected
for the caring way they looked after patients. But nurses have changed beyond
all recognition. Today, too many seem overweight and lazy. The whole nursing
profession seems more concerned with grabbing power and authority than in
ensuring that patients are well looked after. Too many seem to me to consider
themselves too important to do any hard work.
It is, frankly, terrifying
that modern nurses are allowed to prescribe drugs and will soon be allowed to
make life or death decisions.
In the Middle Ages patients used to keep
out of hospitals whenever they could - knowing that a hospital stay could well
prove fatal. Things aren't much different today. In my view the Royal Devon and
Exeter should have a Government health warning hanging over the front door. And
the staff should have health warnings stamped on their foreheads.
bad news is that things are going to get much, much worse I'm afraid.
Health and Safety operatives really want to save lives they should stop worrying
about conker trees and other irrelevant `health threats' and concentrate all
their efforts on hospitals such as the Royal Devon and Exeter.
patients die because of superbugs why aren't the nurses involved charged with
Meanwhile, my advice is simple.
Keep out of the
Royal Devon and Exeter as much as you can.
And if you need to go there
take a good supply of antiseptic wipes and use them.
Vernon Coleman 2008 Dr Vernon Coleman is the author of over 100 books including
Superbody and How To Stop Your Doctor Killing You. For specific
advice on avoiding MRSA read Health Secrets Doctors Share With Their
Families by Vernon Coleman and Donna Antoinette Coleman.