Sir Stephen Moss, chairman of Stafford Hospital and himself a nurse for 40 years, said that “too many patients and families” are being let down but that staff shortages are not to blame.I take it ‘the way they work on hospital wards’ is code for ‘they should put down ‘Heat’ magazine occasionally and check to see if elderly patients are starving to death’?
He suggested the problems lie in the training nurses receive as well as the way they work on hospital wards, and plans to lead a new campaign to improve standards.
Unions and professional bodies have suggested that the problems are down to staff being over-worked or forced to focus on Government targets rather than providing personal care.Because if it wasn’t for the government telling them how to do every tiny small task, they’d be completely unable to understand that patients need to be fed and floors need to be washed?
But other commentators have claimed that too much care is now provided by cheap healthcare assistants, who do not need to meet national training standards and who are not regulated by a professional body; or that nurses think they are “above” feeding and cleaning patients now that they have to be university-educated.Surely not!
Sir Stephen is drawing together a group of seven “big hitters” in the health service to suggest ways that hospital care can be improved.I can’t say this isn’t welcome, but I fear it’s too little, and far too late.
Their plans, to be disclosed in September, will focus on how nurses can be trained for “the real world of the NHS rather than the classroom” .