Monday, 11 February 2013

NHS - What's wrong

Anyone who knows anyone who has had an elderly relative in a NHS hospital knows that the horror stories from West Stafford Hospital are not unique to that establishment.

Thirty odd years ago nurses where revered by all people as being angels in uniform - they were beyond criticism.   How things have changed. Mention nurses now and you are likely to be inundated with stories
which reflect badly on them and their profession. So what's gone wrong?

When I spent a week in my local hospital one thing struck me. I never saw the same nurse twice. The only human 'continuity' on the ward was provided by a super lady who did the cleaning and wheeled a tea trolley round. Now I am sure it is -technically - a lot more 'efficient' to allocate nurses to different wards etc, but if you have no continuity how can you have any pride in your ward and -if you have no pride in your ward - then you will do -being a humane being - the minimum you need to get by.  That -presumably - is why -at West Stafford - no one is being blamed or punished for the appalling standard of care because -to put it simply - no nurse was around long enough for any blame to stick.

So the first reform is to allocate nurses to wards as part of a team under the control of a Matron who has real powers of discipline. That way standards would rise - nurses would be accountable  - and- hopefully - pride in their ward and job would rise.

The real villain though is surely the Royal College of Nursing who - over the last thirty years have presided over a profession which has fallen so far - and so fast -in the public esteem. One of the key reasons for this has to be their insistence that nursing was a 'profession' and not a 'calling' and that therefor nurses should all have university degrees.   So let's throw nursing open to anyone who wants to do it providing they pass the necessary test and abolish the degree qualification.


  1. Oh, how I agree . My mother was killed by the QA hospital in Cosham. The nurses were the laziest bunch of reprobates I have ever seen. They got in a temper if expected to do anything at all. They were a bunch of pseudo doctors, far too important to do any nursing. I visited my poor mum, for four hours every day. The nurses sat at that damned nurses station playing around like a bunch of kids outside Onestop. If I dared to approach them to ask something, they totally ignored me. I stood my ground and after ten minutes or so, they got up, one by one and walked away. They were cruel to the patients who were terrified of them. I have been on anti-depressants since then, because I can't cope with the fact that I didn't rescue my mother from them. I was told that if I took my mother home, that there would be no help, that no doctor would call and my mother would receive no further medication. As she needed this help, I couldn't do anything. What we need is one or two, qualified nurses and the rest, auxiliary, just as it used to be. In that seven weeks before mother died, she had just one wash. Her teeth were removed and we never saw them again. The death certificate was a lie, and I had a post mortem done. She died from dehydration, and they murdered her. I have no respect for the NHS or for the nursing profession. It's about time they started nursing. They used to sit and write in their files. What the hell were they writing whn they didn't do anything!

  2. I spent three weeks in the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford - I saw roughly the same three of four nurses throughout my entire stay, and grateful I was for it too. I cannot commend that Hospital enough! (Apart from their admin department cannot fathom the idea of a patient changing their address!)