Friday, 5 August 2011

The Fundamental Problem With Nursing...

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.

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.
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’?
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.

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” .
I can’t say this isn’t welcome, but I fear it’s too little, and far too late.


Andrew said...

I don't know. I went on a ward today and there was 14 patients between 1 qualified nurse, and 1 HCA covering that half the ward. It's the worst level of staffing i've ever seen. Given also that one of those patients was on a CPAP machine, and 2 others were being barrier nursed in infection control side rooms. I asked the nurse how she felt about it. She appeared relieved that she'd being asked, her response "I'm rushed, always flitting from one place to another, I can't do the nursing i was trained to do, I can't be the nurse that I wanted to be".

High level NHS managers are also good PR men. So just don't take everything at face value, and apply your cynical little inflections. Just appreciate that its not all about sitting at nurse station reading magazines. Some nurses actually give a damn, but are unsupported and under resourced. In an NHS that is now putting a price on everything.

John Page said...

I don't understand Andrew's last sentence.

Everything has a cost, and the cost of everything has to be considered.

I'm not saying the right decisions are being made. Just that you always have to keep the money in mind.

james said...

its interesting and well judged analysis is reflecting in this writing.

Mjolinir said...

Worth a read, "although" it IS by Jan Moir & in the Daily Mail - Following the CQC report on 'lack of care' for the elderly-