Tag Archives: NHS

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth : Thoreau

obama

Consider these examples:

  • One of my personal students told me that when on placement some staff told their patients that they would do things for them and then never bothered. The student was upset by the fact that staff would systematically and routinely lie to their patients.
  • I did an exam with a group of students, I told them about the assessment criteria and then used something else to work out who passed or failed, ok, I lied but who cares?

The above examples are completely untrue but what would you think about health care staff or University lecturers who routinely lied to people?

Lies: Everyone’s at it?

“It is that truth that guides our action in Libya……………………………………… …………………………………….That is why we stopped a massacre in Libya. And we will not relent until the people of Libya are protected, and the shadow of tyranny is lifted.
(Barack Obama speaking in London’s Westminster Hall)


Is it just me or did the West court Gaddafi for his oil money? Are we now supporting the insurgents so we can now court them for the same?

Then I came back to the NHS. I watched a daughter talking about the death of her mother on the news. Her story reflected the lack of care given to the elderly in the NHS according to the Care Quality Commission report. Yet when we visit websites belonging to these same hospitals we are bombarded with mission statements and philosophies about “putting the patient first”
Is it possible that the public does not need to know the truth? Or is it that we don’t want to? If people in power told us the truth could we handle it? If people in power told the truth could they remain in power?
We live in a world that claims to put transparency above all else but uses smoke and lies to blind us.

What could I say to this student or the daughter? I suppose I’ll just have to say that’s the way things are?

(BBC News 26th May 2011)

Public Spending? stop moaning

Bank.of.england.arp.750pix

Like many others, there was a time in my life that I was skint. Didn’t have two ha’pennies to rub together (to use a colloquium of my mother’s). I’m sure many of you are nodding your head in agreement, with a sorrowful sigh of remembrance.

But I wanted my ha’pennies – to be precise I wanted thousands of the little blighters and more. I wanted a new car, new suite and I wanted to decorate the front room. I wanted to go out and party and spend obscene amounts of money, still leaving a handsome amount in the bank. I wanted the high life and then some. I wanted my cake, yours and still have the cakes sat in the kitchen.

Unfortunately as everyone knows, what you want and what you can have are two distinct ideas that are rarely, if ever compatible.

Not good enough I thought. I wanted this life and so I planned to get it with precision that would make Machiavelli proud. I stopped my subscription to several magazines/newspapers and acknowledged that I don’t have to eat out several times a week. Walking rather than the car became the norm and perhaps I didn’t really need another CD.
I’m sure you get the picture.

Still not good enough though. I took on a part-time job and also worked from home on a rather unwholesome project. If I could have, I would have sold my grandmother for one of the sacred ha’pennies.

And the result?…

Well, I’m sure you can work this out. Put simply, I slashed my expenditure and increased my income. There is nothing amazing with this though as this is an obvious thing to do so I am amazed that the Governments spending cuts have been met with such outcry and derision. The country is skint and doesn’t have two ha’pennies to rub together. We are in a major financial problem that requires a major financial solution. This is not rocket science – if you don’t have the money, then you need to cut back on your expenditure and increase your income.
Period.

So if you are one of those people moaning at the harsh financial decisions that the Government has made, just open your eyes. Despite its many problems we still have the NHS. We still have a police force. And roads. And armies. And society. Etc etc.

We are living in harsh times and a harsh solution is needed. Stop moaning please.

Another great reform

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (front C) calls an end to a group picture with his new cabinet in the garden of 10 Downing Street in London May 13, 2010. (L-R) Eric Pickles, William Hague, Tom Strathclyde, Andrew Lansley, George Young, Michael Gove, Nick Clegg, Andrew Mitchell, Sayeeda Warsi, Philip Hammond. REUTERS/Andrew Winning (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS PROFILE)

Another Great Reform.

Ha, Ha, Ha finally the management are getting their come-uppance. These people who have oppressed the working nurses for years are all going to be put out of work. After all it’s their fault that the NHS is in the trouble it is. Isn’t it?

Before we celebrate let’s take time for some sober reflection. Having been in the health service for over forty years I have seen many great reforms. From Salmon in the seventies, through the establishment of trusts, the move to the community and agenda for change we have all seen how Government policies have improved the service for workers and patients.

Do we know enough about the work of PCTs and SHAs to be able to judge their worth? Everyone is aware that in some areas there are non-jobs that could be swept away, but could we be chucking out the baby with the bath water? For example, who will commission the number of nurses to be trained from Universities?  If G.P.s are to be given control of huge budgets there must be some questions to be answered before this happens. Are they capable of administering these monies? Do they have the time to balance clinical work with the need to run a business? Given that G.P.s have a personal relationship with their patients will they be able to look them in the eye and say “we can’t fund your treatment”? Will mental health and learning disabilities be given the same priority as neo natal or cancer?

A Government spokesman says that G.P.s can be trained and that they will employ managers to help them. So we are not removing a management tier just replacing it. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Finally, we have struggled in nursing for years to get our voices heard; we had great hopes for nurse consultants and modern matrons. With all the power being placed back in the hands of medics where will this leave us? So before we sit back and enjoy the cull of the faceless ones let’s take a long hard look at the alternative. We should demand consultation on this as it is our area of expertise and we should be involved in the process.

NHS radical reform!

 

Simpler days - a fresh faced Staff nurse sets out to change the world (back row 2nd from Left)

Simpler days – a fresh faced Staff nurse sets out to change the world (back row 2nd from Left)

1979

In my life, 1979 saw two important events, firstly it was the year in which I started my nurse training at Hollymoor Hospital in Northfield, Birmingham and secondly, Maggie Thatcher became Prime Minister.

In so many ways, life seemed simpler back then – for example, you knew where you stood with politics and politicians.

My early political understandings were informed by Clash lyrics, the NME and the Anti-Nazi League. Down the road from me, Red Robbo was stirring up the Car workers at Longbridge & UB40 were composing their first album ‘Signing off’. I remember a feeling of pride about working for the NHS.

In the opposing corner was.. Maggie

At least with Maggie you knew where you stood. The Tories were the party of privatisation, anti-Union and we all knew that given the chance they would have liked to run down the NHS. Of course, even Maggie didn’t manage to do away with the NHS, despite attempts to boost the influence of private medicine etc.

Nowadays of course, things are not nearly as clear.

White paper tag cloud1

 (Tag cloud made from White Paper ‘ Equity & Excellence: Liberating the NHS’)

 2010

Apparently the NHS is safe in Conservative hands and they were keen to point this out before the election.

 “We are the party of the NHS today because we not only back the values of the NHS, we back its funding and have a vision for its future.” (Conservative Party Manifesto 2010)

David Cameron has previously stated that the Tories were wrong to weaken the NHS and has been keen to distance his party from it’s percieved anti NHS bias. If you really want more reassurance see  Hector from Abingdon who had never voted for the Conservatives before but was doing so now to protect the NHS.

In common with everyone involved in the NHS we have been talking about the implications of the proposed NHS reforms. Amongst the proposals are plans to hand control of NHS budgets to GP consortia to spend on behalf of patients whilst cutting Primary Care Trusts and strategic health authorities. According to the DOH, the reforms  will ‘Liberate’ the NHS leaving it  ‘streamlined with fewer layers of bureacracy’.

Why am I so worried?

This is what I think is really going to happen:

  • Look out for an increase in Private involvement in the NHS (see Tag cloud reference to ‘consortia’ & ‘choice’)
  • Private companies have to prioritise the interests of their share holders therefore..
  • NHS Job losses
  • Skilled workers increasingly replaced/ supplemented by unskilled workers (this blog details this really well)
  • Foundation Trusts opting out of the NHS, local pay & conditions, reduced entitlement to leave, reduced redundancy payments, pensions etc
  • An increase in (profitable) patients recieving private medical care
  • A decrease in care for less profitable patients, i.e. long term conditions, people with mental health problems etc (see White paper “begin to introduce choice of treatment and provider in some mental health services from April 2011, and extend this wherever practicable”)

I could go on but like to keep posts short – feel free to add your own to the list though.

The RCN campaign ‘Frontline first’ is an attempt to defend patient care – one of the speakers in the launch says that ‘when nurses speak, people listen’ 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajSqkjpaKiI&feature=player_embedded

What should we be saying & is anyone really going to listen? I am not so sure they will – hope I am wrong. 

Any comments?