Thursday, 26 February 2009

The Daily Express: WTF planet do they live on?

Just came across an article by Victoria Fletcher of the Daily Express.
I am so glad I don't take these "journalists" seriously. I really am. Ms. Fletcher is one of the better ones actually as far as "health" articles go. Sad isn't it.

Yes we know that patients are suffering horrifically. Nurse Anne and her loved ones also suffer a great deal when they are patients. Do they really think that patients are suffering because nurses and doctors don't understand these "commandments". Idiots. The NHS managers who think that dignity cards are going to improve things need to educated... or perhaps they need to be stopped from trying to pass the buck.

Here is an excerpt:

In some hospitals, investigations found that some patients too ill to feed themselves were ignored and then had the food taken away from them, causing them to become malnourished.

Last year an investigation into an outbreak of a hospital bug that claimed 90 lives in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust revealed patients were told to soil their beds because staff would not take them to the toilet.

Last week it emerged that TV chatshow host Michael Parkinson, 73, will lead a new campaign to boost respect for elderly patients. He regularly visited his mother Freda in her last days in hospital before she died aged 95 last year.

He said: “I came across an extraordinary mixture of care – some nurses who were utterly dedicated and wonderful.

But there were others who treated it a bit like they were a jailer, treated people in their care as inmates. There were distressing signs of elderly people being left weeping who were still there half an hour later, and that’s not right.

“I used to worry about leaving her on her own.”


1. Have a zero tolerance of all forms of abuse.

2. Support people with the same respect you would want for yourself or a member of your family.

3. Treat each person as an individual by offering a personalised service.

4. Enable people to maintain the maximum possible level of independence, choice and control.

5. Listen and support people to express their needs and wants.

6. Respect people's right to privacy.

7. Ensure people feel able to complain without fear of retribution.

8. Engage with family members anDd carers as care partners.

9. Assist people to maintain confidence and a positive self-esteem.

10. Act to alleviate people's loneliness and isolation.

Well duh.

Not only am I concerned about the sanity of our NHS managers but I am also seriously concerned about Victoria Fletcher's. I have seen a few articles by her that were so way off base it is sickening. This one is obviously slanted to have a go at frontline staff and it's enough to send me over the edge.

I thought journalists were supposed to do research and commit to getting their facts straight. Vicki seems to think the the patients' dignity is being compromised and that cold trays are food are being left out of reach because the nurses are thick and lazy. Not one quote from a ward nurse. Vicky, my dear, you need a reality check and you need to start doing research. It would help to talk to people who work on the wards rather than people who only have a narrow simplistic view.

"Staff would not take them to the toilets causing them to soil their beds". Did it ever ever occur to Vicky that these nurses are in a position so precarious that they cannot always just stop and constantly toilet people? The nurses do not want things to be this way. They don't have a choice. If they are caught fucking up meds/orders or not noticing changes in condition because they are constantly toileting they are going to end up in front of a judge.

All we are constantly told is to prioritize prioritize and prioritize. The IV medication to stop that seizure comes first before the bedbath. The blood transfusion must be done before the commode. The man who can't breath must be sorted before the pain meds can be given. But the thing is, the top priority stuff never goes away long enough for us to do any basic care. If I am doing basic care someone else is not getting their blood, pain meds, or their hypoglycemic attack noticed and sorted. They die. Things move that fast.

Can you imagine my saying "sorry doc I cannot squeeze/infuse that gelofusion into your shocky patient or do anything else for him right now because 10 people need the commode. See you in about an 2 hours because I need to wash the commodes when I am done and then others will want it, and then I will wash it again".

That would go over like a lead balloon.

Vicky, we need more goddamn help and less of your ignorant bullshit.

Vicky would sue my ass off if I was caring for her loved one dying of sepsis and I left him to take someone to the toilet. What about when I am running up and down the ward trying to round up the supplies etc to implement the doc's plan to save Vicky's septic loved one? Should I stop during the course of that everytime someone asks for the loo? That would keep me away from Vicky's loved one for hours. Does Vicky think that another nurse would magically appear to help me out? Does Vicky think that those situations just disappear so that I can run around toileting everyone.

No one wishes for that more than we do.

Does Vicky think that the managers care and the nurses don't? Jesus Christ. How misinformed can a person be? The nurses and doctors care more than anyone. The "bad" ones may have just been caught up in the middle of something that they cannot control. This is what causes patients to wait. I have never seen a nurse make someone wait intentionally.

If anyone would listen to the nurses we would tell you why people aren't being fed and nursed.

Do your research. Visitors, etc see that the situation is damn bad but they have no insight into what the nurses are struggling against. They cannot see past their own grief enough to understand the situation on the ward as a whole.


The Dolly Bird said...

Not wishing to raise your ire further by exposing you to more non-reporting but BBC online gives my this today:

how many out of focus groups did it take to come up with "Talented nurses should be free to lead and to nurse." ????

FatGirl said...

"7. Ensure people feel able to complain without fear of retribution."

Mabey we could make a start if that applied to staff too

Nurse Anne said...

I have never treated patients differently for complaining. Never. I have never seen a colleague do this, or take anything out on a patient.

But it must happen because I hear patients and their families say that they are afraid of it.

Yeah if staff complains then we are done.

DBA Dude said...

Anne, great to see that you have got your mojo back and have been posting some great posts recently - it really sucks what you and your colleagues have to put up with from your management. Your journalist is not alone - it appears that most of them never do any research.

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