NHS shortcomings are causing a ‘hidden epidemic,’ according to a dying doctor.
Because hospitals have failed to properly handle the dangerous material, the mother of two has only months to live and is warning the
public about asbestos-related illnesses among NHS employees and patients. After winning a court action against the NHS for negligently
exposing her to asbestos while working as a medical student and junior doctor, Kate Richmond has spoken out to promote awareness.
According to one study by The Independent, there have been as many as 13 charges relating to NHS breaches of asbestos management
standards since 2021.
Furthermore, NHS employees have filed 381 compensation claims for work-related ailments, including asbestos exposure, since 2013.
The NHS has spent more than £26 million on this.
Furthermore, according to data from the Health and Safety Executive, 128 persons working in health and social care positions died of
mesothelioma, the same asbestos-related illness that killed Kate Richmond, between 2011 and 2017.
Kate recalls maintenance workers removing asbestos ceiling tiles without taking any precautions. Dust and debris were allowed to fall into
wards where patients were in bed and personnel were working. Managers at the Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry ignored warnings from
employees that they were endangering patients.
Kate feels that the full scope of the problem is likely to be far worse than the existing data implies, because asbestos-related disorders
can take up to 50 years to manifest after exposure. Kate was exposed to asbestos between 1998 and 2004, as a result of her frequent use of service tunnels with asbestos-lined pipes, as well as exposure during maintenance.
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