I was reading something in the Guardian entitled I loved being a midwife but bullying, stress and fear made me resign and what started out as a quick agreement grew.
It’s not just midwives but all levels of the NHS, right down to the caterers, porters and cleaners (most of whom are now outsourced to the cheapest subcontractor). Once the envy of the world, gone now are the ward matrons that kept the ship running tightly, replaced instead with an bloated army of box-ticking managers, accountants and bureaucrats for the sake of bureaucracy, their wages sucking the money out of trusts that should be spend on nurses and doctors.
Equally too – and disgustingly so – are gone nurses that care and this is desanitation by bureaucracy of the worst kind. Don’t get me wrong, there are still a lot of great nurses and doctors, but for every good one another 5 are lost because nurse training now isn’t about patient care, it’s about getting a degree. Thus many that would make fantastic NURSES are excluded simply because empathy is neither required nor wanted in a written assignment. And again, for every good nurse and every 5 that WOULD make good nurses are those that aren’t ‘nurses’. This of course is why you often see filthy wards, stinking of urine and faeces, pots left accumulating under beds, bedding soiled. This new breed of “nurses” think such things are beneath them. That’s not what they are training for, apparently!
Gone now are the ancilliaries, the SEN’s, the SRN’s, replaced by an army of youths that – seeing the lifelong debt of student loans for regular degrees – take the easy choice of a paid, vocational qualification. Many will, of course, leave the NHS on graduation, short of laws saying they have to pay the cost back if they do. Similarly for doctors, the focus is on leaving hospitals and getting a lucrative private practice with as many patients as possible (preferably healthy ones they don’t have to see!)
It’s not that the NHS’s initial ideal failed, it’s that successive governments have used it as a political weapon, strangling it in red-tape and targets. It’s no longer about how many patient were ‘cured’ but about how many were ‘seen‘ – not whether they were treated effectively, compassionately or even treated at all. It’s no longer treatment with due care, but dispassionate, unfeeling due process. The NHS is being dismantled by spreadsheets and statistics!
This from the NHS says it all, really :
To work as a nurse in the NHS, you must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which means you’ll need a degree in nursing. Diploma courses are no longer available. You can use our course finder to find nursing degrees.
Funny, the dictionary definition says “a person trained to care for the sick or infirm, especially in a hospital.” I see no mention of care in the NHS entry.
Note that I do not work in the NHS, but my mother did (as a midwifery sister). I have, however, spent a lot of time in hospitals over the years and have witnessed first-hand the rise in statistics and box-ticking over actual patient care.
Also of possible interest :
Comments on their reply : Reminding hospitals about patient care.
And their – eventual – apology: Official apology from Whiston Hospital for lack of patient care