NHS failures are causing a “hidden pandemic,” according to a dying doctor.
Because hospitals have failed to properly handle the deadly substance, the mother of two has just months to live and is alerting the public
about asbestos-related malignancies among NHS personnel 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 come out to promote awareness.
According to one study by The Independent, there have been as many as 13 charges connected to NHS violations of asbestos
management laws since 2021.
Furthermore, NHS employees have filed 381 compensation claims for work-related illnesses, including asbestos exposure, since 2013.
The NHS has spent more than £26 million on this.
Furthermore, according to statistics from the Health and Safety Executive, 128 individuals working in health and social care professions
died of mesothelioma, the same asbestos-related disease 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 concerns from
employees that they were endangering patients.
Kate feels that the real scope of the problem is likely to be considerably worse than the existing data shows, because asbestos-related
illnesses 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 usage of service tunnels with asbestos-lined pipes, as well as exposure during maintenance.