One of Britain's most senior doctors claimed today that thousands of hospital patients are "starving" because nurses are too busy to feed them.
Professor Paul Goddard, a former radiology section president of the Royal Society of Medicine, launched a scathing attack on the way the health service is being run, saying money is being wasted on management and bureaucracy.
He said the NHS is in "meltdown" and claimed medics refused to speak up about the problems for fear of being sacked.
Prof Goddard told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "Thousands of patients have been starving in beds because the nurses do not have time to feed them.
"That used to be a major part of the nursing process; now they just don't have time because they have to spend all their time doing reports and management work."
He said he was "appalled" that "an enormous amount of money has been put in but it has been wasted on excessive management".
Superbugs were killing people by the "hundreds", he said, but "doctors don't dare speak out, the staff don't dare speak up because they will get sacked".
Prof Goddard said: "I think the general public know what I'm talking about if I say the NHS is going into meltdown.
"You can't get dental care. Your elderly patients - what happens to them? You have to pay to have them looked after."
He said draft guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) to deny patients four kidney cancer drugs on the NHS was a "disgrace".
Prof Goddard he was "delighted" that more money was being put in to the health service by the Government but said "so much of it has been wasted".
He recommended reducing management and putting cleaning staff under the control of ward sisters.
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