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THE UNCARING PROFESSION…

By David Vance On January 10th, 2012 at 10:08 am

Once upon a time, nursing was considered a caring profession. But that was then...and this is now;

Nurses in the NHS too often lack ability, compassion or even the simple desire to work in the profession, a report warns.

Huh?

In some cases staff lack basic skills, have a poor grasp of maths and do not understand the values of the health service, according to the NHS Future Forum. (How about their grasp of English?)

The independent advisory panel, set up by the Government last year to examine the NHS, says there is “almost universal concern” about the “huge variations in quality” of education and training for nurses and midwives across the country.

NHS hospital managers are failing to take responsibility for the poor quality of some nurses, it says. It also accuses nurse training schools of failing to recruit the right type of student to ensure patients receive a good standard of care. The report adds to growing concerns that nurses’ training has become too academic to prepare students properly for the realities of the job and makes them less willing to carry out practical care.

There is resonance in this report. Nursing has become far too academic and the essential caring skills seem to have gone. This is obvious to anyone who has had the misfortune to have been in  an NHS hospital in the past ten years or so. Nursing is about caring and that needs restored to the centre of the profession.

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS…

By David Vance On January 6th, 2012 at 9:32 am

Socialised healthcare has several fatal flaws but perhaps the greatest is that it enables POLITICIANS to direct medical priorities. Just think about this for a moment;

Nurses will be told to do regular ward rounds and patients encouraged to carry out inspections as part of a drive to improve hospital standards in England. They will form part of a package of measures announced by the prime minister to tackle what he sees as a “real problem” with patient care. David Cameron told the BBC problems in some hospitals had been overlooked out of respect for the nursing profession.

This new move has come after a series of critical reports in the past year. The patient-led inspection regime will see members of the public invited to assess cleanliness, food, privacy and dignity on wards alongside official teams. Mr Cameron believes there is too much bureaucracy and wants nurses to spend more time with patients.

OK, I can see the aim Cameron has in mind but surely there will need to be additional bureaucracy put in place to ensure that the objectives he wants to see achieved actually happen? And isn’t micro-managing the NHS one of the charges Cameron labelled against Labour? And WHY have Nurses to be told to talk to patients and treat them with dignity?

CASUALTY

By David Vance On October 24th, 2011 at 9:59 am

I think this is a great idea, don’t you?

Patients suffering minor injuries will now be able to bypass hospital accident and emergency departments – but at a price. A consultant-led unit has opened at the Kingsbridge Private Hospital in Belfast. Initial cost of treatment is £25 when triaged by the nurse practitioner. Treatment includes limited traumatic head, facial, ear, nose and throat conditions as well as eye injuries, cuts, burns, wounds and bruises. If you need to see a consultant, the cost is £90. A sliding scale of charges depends on tests, scans or X-rays and treatment required.  The unit is led by emergency medicine consultant Duncan Redmill, who says the unit is not in competition with the NHS. Mr Redmill said: “I believe that the growth of this kind of service from the private sector may ease the burden on the NHS.”

NHS A&E’s resemble bedlam more often than not, with a staggering lack of dignity afforded to patients. I had cause to take my father to the local A&E in his final few years and it was a truly horrible experience. Long waits, drunks fighting, foreign nationals arguing…just a MESS. I would happily pay to by-pass the NHS in this area and I wish Mr Redmill and his associates good fortune with their well-timed and welcome initiative. Hopefully other such  private facilities will pop up and we will have the one thing we lack at the moment – CHOICE.

Call me by my name!

By Mike Cunningham On October 13th, 2011 at 8:45 am

Readers of the damning CQC report into patient care in hospitals do not need me to state that this report is neither news, nor fresh. Individual hospital cases, where people have died or suffered terrible neglect, have been reported upon for years; and every time, every case, every distraught relative has been re-assured, ‘we have learned lessons’. And that, folks, is the Standard Response, straight out of both the NHS and Government handbooks.

“Don’t worry, things are getting better!” One can almost see the appropriate NHS Trust executive or hospital administrator flicking over the pages of a large loose-leaf folder to find and state the appropriate, approved, and useless response to be given out via the waiting microphones and cameras to a despondent Nation.

The ‘degree-qualified’ nurses who are too intent upon their tasks, whether to hand out drugs and potions from a carefully-monitored prescriptions list to checking temperatures and blood pressures, to glance at the PERSON in the bed and discover that the Patient has been trying to get a drink of water for half-an-hour or more. The unqualified and untrained ‘Care assistants’ who are employed to do the ‘scut work’ which the Nurses are now too grand to do, are themselves working to a schedule which blanks out any mention of the fact that the truly important people on the wards are ignored. Because the lists, the routines, the ‘tick-boxes’ must be filled in, they are oblivious to the fact that the Patients, the reason for their existence and employment, are trying, and usually failing, to get their attention.

To amend this disgraceful state of affairs will not be easy, because it demands change which is almost impossible, in these days of what has become ‘jobs for life’. The NHS can start with one small task, right across every hospital, ward and A&E desk. They should be required to address the patient either as Mr. or Mrs. ‘Everyman’, or Sir or Madam; every time that patient is spoken to. Never mind the familiarity of a first name; ignore the fact that the Nurse, or Doctor, has seen and spoken to that patient maybe fifty times. Every time they speak, they must remember that the man or woman in that bed is an individual, with the automatic right to civility and respect. The supine form in the bed is not an interesting case, or a problem to be solved; the person in that bed, upon that ward is, in fact, their employer!

 

THE INSTITUTIONALISED NEGLECT

By David Vance On October 8th, 2011 at 6:55 am

If this was the private sector, people would be sacked. But because it is the State – and the NHS in particular – ho hum, nothing will be done.

Nearly half of NHS hospitals visited by undercover inspectors are failing to meet basic nutrition standards, a damning report has warned. Elderly patients are routinely left without anything to drink for hours, with some so dehydrated they are being put on drips. Other patients found themselves regularly being fed by their relatives because nursing staff were too busy to help. Other concerns highlighted included hospitals slipping Do Not Resuscitate orders inside patients’ notes without telling them or their families.

The envy of the world? Tell it to the next of kin…

We hardly knew him!

By Mike Cunningham On June 7th, 2011 at 12:15 pm

If your newly-born child is, or seems to be in distress, any mother or father alive would rush to gain medical help and advice at a hospital, especially the hospital where the infant had just been born. We here in Great Britain, although we might moan and complain about some decisions made whilst running the NHS, are rightly proud of the people behind the infrastructure, the nurses, the doctors, the specialists and the consultants, because we know that we have the best.

Here in Britain we have the foremost surgical teams in many specialities, people who are welcome in advanced hospitals and facilities all over the civilised world, because they come with built-in credibility, with the knowledge that in Great Britain, they have received the best training in the world.

With the knowledge which should have been available, with the experience which is a birthright of every patient as they either walk or are wheeled through any British hospital, what should happen to the eleven ‘Midwives’ who conspired to falsify the records following the tragic death of Nine-day-old Joshua Titcombe?

Charges of Manslaughter? Not Murder, because there has to be planning and motive to be Murder! Yep; definitely Manslaughter, for all eleven!

 

EQUIVOCATION

By David Vance On April 3rd, 2011 at 8:44 am

Cameron backs off NHS reform for political reasons;

The Prime Minister is drawing up key changes to the flagship Health and Social Care Bill which will see his reorganisation of the NHS watered down. Under the terms of the compromise deal, GPs who do not want to take charge of the health service budget for their area will not now be forced to do so. The Government is also planning amendments to limit the market proposed in health care, with safeguards which will attempt to prevent private firms “cherry-picking” the most profitable services and leaving NHS hospitals at a disadvantage.

The issue is simple. IF Cameron thought his reforms were necessary a few months ago, why are some not relevant now? The NHS is there to function for PATIENTS, not the bureaucracy or the political needs of on the make politicians.  It seems to me that continued political interference in health makes things worse!

OUR EFFICIENT HEALTH TRUSTS

By David Vance On March 10th, 2011 at 9:16 am

As you know the NHS needs every penny it gets. This is particularly true when we discover that it pays people who do not work for it!

The BBC has learned that a health trust mistakenly continued to pay one of its workers for eight years after they had left. The support worker was employed by a Belfast health trust until they left their post in 2001. It has emerged that despite having moved on they continued to receive a salary until late 2009. The amount they received because of the mistake added up to about £84,000.

Has anyone been sacked for this gross error? I bet that it is more likely they have been promoted!

 

Silence is golden!

By ATWadmin On August 9th, 2010 at 8:25 pm

As some may recall, I went under the surgeons’ knives a little time back to get rid of a threatening growth in my stomach area, resulting in a two-odd foot-long scar, and a weight-drop of 8-odd pounds (none of this metric bullshit for Mike).

As I mentioned in my post published after I returned to near normality (no attacks please!), I had only three areas or problems to argue about, and since one was about a fellow patient ranting on about bloody football, you can maybe accept that I had few actual problems.

My post today is not about the hospitals, the medical staff or even the ancilliary workers, it is about the huge and stultifying bureaucracy which rules our NHS with the dead hand of a dictatorship which brooks no opposition, hears no dissent and allows no argument. That over-weening contempt for the individual which is best expressed within this article by Channel Four, regarding the attempts, successful in many if not most cases, of muting or gagging staff who are attempting to blow the whistle on malpractice.

When a medic tries to push against the system by complaining about actual malpractice, they are often pressured into silence by a ‘gagging’ order built in to any cash settlement offered to ensure their silence. The ‘whistleblower’ often finds that their careers are shortened or damaged by managers keen to achieve targets and divert attention away from the original problem. It also seems as though the management is winning!

NICE; or just sour-tasting

By ATWadmin On June 24th, 2010 at 10:52 am

Watching the ‘Nanny’ tactics of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in full flow as yet another series of pages of ‘Advice’ flows from the web-pages and print files of this NGO which is supposed to provide ‘national guidance on promoting good health and preventing and treating ill health.’ 

Three weeks ago  it was all about ‘Minimum Pricing for Alcohol’, because they are certain that we drink too much, and lots of people are ‘binge drinking’, it’s a ‘BAD THING’, and we are all naughty.

Then two weeks ago it was all about telling doctors that they should spend much more time with their patients, finding out about their socio-economic levels, as well as being aware that socially disadvantaged young people find it difficult to access contraceptive services, for a variety of reasons, including lack of knowledge about service opening times and locations. Also doctors should dispense culturally sensitive, confidential, non-judgemental and empathic advice and support tailored to their individual needs.So, besides being thick, they are now breeding too fast.

Last week, NICE stated that we should all have our ‘drink driving’ alcohol limits lowered drastically, as over 3,000 injuries and 145 deaths could be averted by stopping us all from drinking virtually anything even vaguely alcoholic. 

Then yesterday, all our G.P.s were advised that if any pregnant female patient arrives in their surgery, they should all be breathalised to ascertain if they have been SMOKING, and immediately offered abortion if the poor women have SMOKED since having sex.

Well, allright, maybe they didn’t say the last bit, that was me editorializing a bit; but you should be getting the picture.

This bunch of do-gooders, whose job since inception seems mainly to have stating that we cannot afford new cancer- or alzheimer-fighting drugs because the Labour Party overlords have installed yet another branch of bureaucracy which has costs millions, are determined to remind the new ConDom Government of their ‘vital work’ in attempting to wrap the entire population in (sterilised) cotton wool.

I don’t know all of the costs for NICE, but one can assume that it is expensive, all these ‘Specialist’ outfits are expensive, but I believe they are trying to prove how vital they are in the constant war over their employment. I always also wonder if their constant and irritating expressions of ‘concern’ over our national health are counter-productive, as no-one really likes being told that we are all living the ‘wrong’ way’!