Life and other things

Our Health Service

A belated happy New Year to all of you, sorry it is late but I have been a bit busy lately!

Anyway I have had first hand experience of the NHS, and as am some one who has been in that system, as a nurse, as an observer, as a governor and now a carer,thought I will add my experience and observations to the ongoing debate on the NHS.

Yesterday’s Telegraph carried pages and pages of this topic, the forthcoming report is due to condemn the whole service, and there has been a mention of targets and their effect on the morale of the service.

I feel that the main problem has been that politicians have used the service to raise expectations, and to make false promises, Tony Blair did it and the same thing is happening again. Nurses were given reams to forms to fill, and the public was promised thet if they will cross every T and dot every i there will be fewer errors.

Wrong. The form filling might save the trusts in a court of law if they are sued, it did nothing for the patients, it took nurses away from the bedside and made them clerks.

Targets were set, which are unrealistic,simply to appease the electorate, as a result a lot of falsifying went on and again the patients were left in the lurch. Managers were happy to have present the paper work of completed targets without thinking about how they were achieved.

This time round I have been in the acute admissions ward, the oncology ward and the Hospice as a carer.

The acute ward on a friday evening was heaving, with police escorting someone high on drugs, who had to be watched, which meant one health care assistant had to be sat next to her! The ward had just two staff nurses one agency nurse and three health assistants. We were sent there as an emergency, we arrived there at 7PM andwere not seen until 12.45 Am! There was a young man next to us who had a drip in his arm which was backtracking( the blood fro the vein was coming into the tube rather than the fluid going in) , the nurses and doctors had no time to put that right. At around 11.30 ,I left as my neighbour was picking me up and I was shattered having been up the previous night and busy all day. Our daughter stayed up and spoke to the doctor at around 1AM to discuss her fathers condition before admission.The next day I found him totally dehydrated, nurses had no time to give him a drink,despite him being on a fluid chart. On my recommendation they put up a drip for him!

I found the nurses willing but unable to care,as the trusts have been asked to save certain amount,so on a shift there could only be 1-2 trained staff,whatever the circumstances.

Where as in the Hospice and the Oncology ward, the nurses were relaxed, caring and had time to care. Doctors too would sit down and listen to you,rather than running from bed to bed clutching their paper works.

So in my recent experience, it is the governments who have imposed targets/ instructions simply because they make good soundbites.

Am wondering what the new report will impose, and what will that do to the service?

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