The admiration following the Olympic opening ceremony has faded rapidly

The Sunday Telegraph highlighted an RN4CAST study, conducted by King’s College London, revealing what the paper described as a “disgrace” of nurses’ workload and reductions in skill mix. It reported a 56:44 ratio of qualified: unqualified nurses on the wards.

Katherine Murphy, from the Patients Association, said the ratio of nurses to patients was “absolutely disgraceful”, adding: “One nurse cannot safely care for 15 patients.”

The paper claimed the research “highlighted growing public concern that hospital patients, especially the elderly, are being denied basic dignity and left thirsty and hungry”.

The Sunday Times picked up the same theme of dignity and care quality, focusing on the inquest into the death of 12-year-old Emma Stones, who died at Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust in 2011. The paper said the inquest, which was due to reveal its findings this week, heard Emma’s body lay undiscovered for so long that rigor mortis had set in after nurses failed to carry out observations. It also claimed doctors were too busy to take vital blood tests. The inquest was told Emma died of septicaemia from an undiagnosed bacterial infection.

Never a newspaper to miss an inquest story, the Daily Mail on Monday highlighted the same case, citing a “catalogue of errors” in care.

The Times reported on Monday that doctors were failing to “diagnose chronic kidney disease in more than one million patients” in what it described as a “damning” report by NHS Kidney Care.

Donal O’Donoghue, national clinical director for kidney care, said the report “was a wake-up call for everyone involved in the fight against kidney disease”.