The NHS is not at its best but we still care

I AM getting increasingly annoyed with all these articles about nurses "not caring like they used to".

Can they not realise that 20 years ago the NHS was at its best?

Never had any staff shortages, hospitals were not cutting beds thus putting more pressure on staff to perform and staff had amazing working environments.

Now we are working in an NHS which is essentially broke, cuts are being made everywhere.

We don't even get milk in our staff room for a cup of tea.

We often work without breaks and take abuse, even take threats of harm from patients and families and why?

BECAUSE WE CARE!

If we didn't we wouldn't be in this job.

However, unfortunately, the conditions under which we are working at the moment makes it very stressful and hard to perform 110% all of the time.

But I think I can speak on behalf of all my colleagues, nurses, doctors, our hard-working porters and security staff, we give it our all, we give it our best, because we care about our amazing health system and especially our patients

 

Angry emergency nurse.

Name and address supplied.
 

Comments (10)

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3:52pm Sun 24 Feb 13

ordinary personn says...

I agree with the writer that it is unfair to assume all nursing staff do not care about patients as the majority clearly do. Anybody with any sense can see through the sensationalised headlines of the tabloids. However, the recent cases such as those at Mid Staffs and Winterbourne must be properly addressed. Not only in terms of why such horrendous events happened but also why staff who witnessed them and knew what was going on did not challenge their colleagues and/or blow the whistle. The culture in the public sector that makes it extremely difficult to blow the whistle (we have seen what happens to those brave souls who do with the way the council treated Martin Morton) must change. I’d be more disgruntled about that than not having free milk for my tea!

While the writer clearly feels that all clinical staff are being unfairly judged, surely it is crucial that any and all instances of poor care and/or abuse are exposed to public scrutiny and not contained within organisations? As we have seen organisations will and do cover up when they can and without public scrutiny nothing will change. While all nurses are not uncaring it is important to accept that all nurses are not “angels” and that the bad ones have to go. I would say that staff who perform their duties properly and deliver good care have nothing to fear and should be pleased when those who do not are held to account because patient care will improve and along with that the reputation of the NHS.
I agree with the writer that it is unfair to assume all nursing staff do not care about patients as the majority clearly do. Anybody with any sense can see through the sensationalised headlines of the tabloids. However, the recent cases such as those at Mid Staffs and Winterbourne must be properly addressed. Not only in terms of why such horrendous events happened but also why staff who witnessed them and knew what was going on did not challenge their colleagues and/or blow the whistle. The culture in the public sector that makes it extremely difficult to blow the whistle (we have seen what happens to those brave souls who do with the way the council treated Martin Morton) must change. I’d be more disgruntled about that than not having free milk for my tea! While the writer clearly feels that all clinical staff are being unfairly judged, surely it is crucial that any and all instances of poor care and/or abuse are exposed to public scrutiny and not contained within organisations? As we have seen organisations will and do cover up when they can and without public scrutiny nothing will change. While all nurses are not uncaring it is important to accept that all nurses are not “angels” and that the bad ones have to go. I would say that staff who perform their duties properly and deliver good care have nothing to fear and should be pleased when those who do not are held to account because patient care will improve and along with that the reputation of the NHS. ordinary personn

4:00pm Sun 24 Feb 13

ordinary personn says...

Sorry re WInterbourne - I should have said that it was only when Terry Bryan went there and blew the whistle to the BBC did anything get done. The other staff employed there had not reported what was going on for a long period of time.
Sorry re WInterbourne - I should have said that it was only when Terry Bryan went there and blew the whistle to the BBC did anything get done. The other staff employed there had not reported what was going on for a long period of time. ordinary personn

9:45pm Mon 25 Feb 13

spamfiend says...

Have to add that I had to go and see y GP last week with an existing problem but s usual was fobbed off by them. I instead went up to VCH where I was seen by a doctor and then referred to APH where I received what I can only describe as the best possible treatment.

Too many times our services get whiplashed and lambasted but on this occasion and many before hand I cannot fault the attitude and work of the people involved. The NHS might be having a rough time of it at the moment but our local staff are doing a magnificent job!!
Have to add that I had to go and see y GP last week with an existing problem but s usual was fobbed off by them. I instead went up to VCH where I was seen by a doctor and then referred to APH where I received what I can only describe as the best possible treatment. Too many times our services get whiplashed and lambasted but on this occasion and many before hand I cannot fault the attitude and work of the people involved. The NHS might be having a rough time of it at the moment but our local staff are doing a magnificent job!! spamfiend

8:17am Thu 28 Feb 13

Ex-Cestrian says...

I feel compelled to write in support of “Angry
Emergency Nurse’s” letter in last week’s Globe. As a now retired Psychiatric Nurse, of 40 years’ experience, I feel I am more than equipped to speak on the subject of the NHS, past and present.
I agree 100% with the correspondent; the NHS was better 20 years ago. This was as a result of a much more informed and caring higher management structure. The Principal, and Senior Nurses as they were then called, had worked themselves up from the ground floor over the years, so knew exactly what the job entailed, and what was needed to perform it to the high standards that were expected and were achieved. Today, you have higher manager that have come in from other environments, industry and the like, who might be fine for balancing budgets, but either do not or cannot recognise, you cannot put a price on health. The Health Service is not like a car factory, where you X amount of resources in at one end and get the finished product out at the other. These people are just yes-men for which ever government is in power on the day. Unfortunately, the majority of middle managers are made up of former nurses who appear to have a similar nodding-dog quality of their superiors and should know better. As illustrated recently in the national press, whistle-blowing is not only discouraged, but punished. The staff side organisations no longer have the teeth or the support to fight for the nurses as they would have 20 years ago. The working conditions continue to deteriorate, as mentioned, staff shortages, loss of beds, increase in administration, until staff become disheartened and affected seriously by stress. The no milk for the staff room comment is just the tip of a penny-pinching iceberg. Which other job would charge their staff to park? Can you imagine the outcry if Vauxhalls tried to do that? Over the years, up to my retirement, I saw a steady decrease in the nursing work force, but an increase in management positions. There was even a person employed at £30,000 + a year who sent e-mails around encouraging staff to be more Green, such as, make sure your car tyres are properly inflated, and how nice it would be if you had a small tomato plant on your desk! Inevitably, the money has been wasted and not channelled to where it is most needed, patient care. Consequently, when things go wrong because of this, and they do, it is the nursing staff that get scapegoated. So, please spare a thought, and think on, the next time the water has not been changed in grannie’s bed-side flower vase.
I feel compelled to write in support of “Angry Emergency Nurse’s” letter in last week’s Globe. As a now retired Psychiatric Nurse, of 40 years’ experience, I feel I am more than equipped to speak on the subject of the NHS, past and present. I agree 100% with the correspondent; the NHS was better 20 years ago. This was as a result of a much more informed and caring higher management structure. The Principal, and Senior Nurses as they were then called, had worked themselves up from the ground floor over the years, so knew exactly what the job entailed, and what was needed to perform it to the high standards that were expected and were achieved. Today, you have higher manager that have come in from other environments, industry and the like, who might be fine for balancing budgets, but either do not or cannot recognise, you cannot put a price on health. The Health Service is not like a car factory, where you X amount of resources in at one end and get the finished product out at the other. These people are just yes-men for which ever government is in power on the day. Unfortunately, the majority of middle managers are made up of former nurses who appear to have a similar nodding-dog quality of their superiors and should know better. As illustrated recently in the national press, whistle-blowing is not only discouraged, but punished. The staff side organisations no longer have the teeth or the support to fight for the nurses as they would have 20 years ago. The working conditions continue to deteriorate, as mentioned, staff shortages, loss of beds, increase in administration, until staff become disheartened and affected seriously by stress. The no milk for the staff room comment is just the tip of a penny-pinching iceberg. Which other job would charge their staff to park? Can you imagine the outcry if Vauxhalls tried to do that? Over the years, up to my retirement, I saw a steady decrease in the nursing work force, but an increase in management positions. There was even a person employed at £30,000 + a year who sent e-mails around encouraging staff to be more Green, such as, make sure your car tyres are properly inflated, and how nice it would be if you had a small tomato plant on your desk! Inevitably, the money has been wasted and not channelled to where it is most needed, patient care. Consequently, when things go wrong because of this, and they do, it is the nursing staff that get scapegoated. So, please spare a thought, and think on, the next time the water has not been changed in grannie’s bed-side flower vase. Ex-Cestrian

6:48pm Sun 3 Mar 13

ordinary personn says...

Sorry Ex-Cestrian - why should nurses get free parking and free milk? Of course people who work for other employers have to pay for parking and their own beverages. Although if Vauxhalls gave their staff free beverages it would not come out of an already greatly reduced NHS budget. The issues of milk and paying for parking are secondary to the real issue - patient care and safety.

I still maintain that while the majority of nurses care very much about the patients not all nurses are good - as the Francis report and other investigations show. Have you read the full Francis report? I have and found myself shocked, angry and moved to tears with the way patients and their families were treated by SOME nurses and other staff. Yes there were staff shortages, budget cuts etc BUT that does not excuse the behaviour of some of the staff. The Francis report also highlights that some staff were excellent and caring so if they could do that why couldn't the rest?

Quite correct - managers brought in from outside do not truly understand the issues at the front line BUT it is up to those on the front line to make sure they do. And to keep on making the point until they do listen. If staff do not do that will anything change?

The point is that it is the uncaring staff that are damaging the reputation of the nursing profession and they must be removed from their jobs. Is it not part of nurses' professional ethics not to stand by and let such people continue to practise?
Sorry Ex-Cestrian - why should nurses get free parking and free milk? Of course people who work for other employers have to pay for parking and their own beverages. Although if Vauxhalls gave their staff free beverages it would not come out of an already greatly reduced NHS budget. The issues of milk and paying for parking are secondary to the real issue - patient care and safety. I still maintain that while the majority of nurses care very much about the patients not all nurses are good - as the Francis report and other investigations show. Have you read the full Francis report? I have and found myself shocked, angry and moved to tears with the way patients and their families were treated by SOME nurses and other staff. Yes there were staff shortages, budget cuts etc BUT that does not excuse the behaviour of some of the staff. The Francis report also highlights that some staff were excellent and caring so if they could do that why couldn't the rest? Quite correct - managers brought in from outside do not truly understand the issues at the front line BUT it is up to those on the front line to make sure they do. And to keep on making the point until they do listen. If staff do not do that will anything change? The point is that it is the uncaring staff that are damaging the reputation of the nursing profession and they must be removed from their jobs. Is it not part of nurses' professional ethics not to stand by and let such people continue to practise? ordinary personn

9:02pm Sun 3 Mar 13

Ex-Cestrian says...

Ordinary person(n)? You are obviously an "ordinary person", as opposed to the "extraordinary persons" that are nurses. You clearly have no idea what is happening within YOUR health service. Read the latest report from the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges; read the RCN report on Nurses' concerns being ignored. I could go on. You do not have a clue as to why the things that have happened in the recent past have happened. It is because of the blind ignorance of people like you that progressive governments will continue to get away with the destruction of a health service that was once the envy of the world. You will be sorry when it is too late. Don't you realise that the report you mentioned, could and probably is, slanted to, once again scapegoat the wrong people, while covering up for the real ones who are at fault. Don't apologise to me, it is you I feel sorry for for being so gullible.
Ordinary person(n)? You are obviously an "ordinary person", as opposed to the "extraordinary persons" that are nurses. You clearly have no idea what is happening within YOUR health service. Read the latest report from the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges; read the RCN report on Nurses' concerns being ignored. I could go on. You do not have a clue as to why the things that have happened in the recent past have happened. It is because of the blind ignorance of people like you that progressive governments will continue to get away with the destruction of a health service that was once the envy of the world. You will be sorry when it is too late. Don't you realise that the report you mentioned, could and probably is, slanted to, once again scapegoat the wrong people, while covering up for the real ones who are at fault. Don't apologise to me, it is you I feel sorry for for being so gullible. Ex-Cestrian

7:04am Mon 4 Mar 13

Ex-Cestrian says...

I feel I must add, because of negative attitudes such as yours ordinary person, and the likes of R. Peters, who wanted the Charity Egg Run cancelled because of the "noisy" bikes, I fear this forum, once a site for intelligent exchanges of views, is becoming a venue for extremists and crackpots who are ill informed, and general mischief makers. I am now closing my registration.
I feel I must add, because of negative attitudes such as yours ordinary person, and the likes of R. Peters, who wanted the Charity Egg Run cancelled because of the "noisy" bikes, I fear this forum, once a site for intelligent exchanges of views, is becoming a venue for extremists and crackpots who are ill informed, and general mischief makers. I am now closing my registration. Ex-Cestrian

9:50am Mon 4 Mar 13

ordinary personn says...

Ex-Cestrian – oh dear you not seem to have read my post(s) properly – did you miss the part that said I still maintain that the majority of nurses care very much about patients? Your defensive post highlights one of the major problems with any questioning of the public sector and why poor delivery is not addressed and is tolerated. Why do you have a problem seeing that some nurses are not good and should not be tolerated by other staff?

To answer your question – yes I have read the RCN report. I have also read the Jane Cummings Compassion in Practice strategy – that makes interesting reading, and much more. Have you read the full Francis report? In my earlier post I also state that I am aware of how whistleblowers are treated e.g. Graham Pink (that rather ages me), Barbara Allatt, Annabelle Blackburn. Terry Bryan and Margaret Haywood, to name just a few. If you read the full Francis report it is based on EVIDENCE from an in depth inquiry – if only one patient had been treated poorly, if only one patient had died as a result, if only one patient has experienced abuse that is one patient too many. You have chosen to ignore where I state that the Francis report also highlights excellent nursing. So I propose that YOUR post is biased i.e. you are not open to the concept of not all nurses being good at their job and are unwilling to even consider any view other than yours.


You make petulant remarks about my knowledge of the NHS without any evidence to base that on and call me names – how professional! FYI – I am a qualified professional who has worked on wards so I have first hand knowledge, hence my saying that the majority of nurses care very much. Part of being a professional is having the ability to consider alternative viewpoints and welcoming open debate in a mature manner, not refusing to consider alternatives, accusing people who hold a different stance from you of being crackpots, ignorant and gullible, and calling people names. I have no need to apologise to you for presenting my point of view and neither do I need your sympathy for supporting the need for an open and honest debate about what is happening in the NHS. If we do not have an open debate nothing will change and cover ups will continue; this means that patients AND staff will suffer. Why do you seem to want to stifle such a debate?

I also find it very concerning that, a psychiatric nurse who should know all about the stigma of mental ill health and the danger of labels should label people who have views different from theirs as “crackpots”. Choosing to do so reflects badly on you and emphasizes that one way of controlling people and discrediting their opinions is to accuse them of being mentally ill. What is this – Communist Russia?
Ex-Cestrian – oh dear you not seem to have read my post(s) properly – did you miss the part that said I still maintain that the majority of nurses care very much about patients? Your defensive post highlights one of the major problems with any questioning of the public sector and why poor delivery is not addressed and is tolerated. Why do you have a problem seeing that some nurses are not good and should not be tolerated by other staff? To answer your question – yes I have read the RCN report. I have also read the Jane Cummings Compassion in Practice strategy – that makes interesting reading, and much more. Have you read the full Francis report? In my earlier post I also state that I am aware of how whistleblowers are treated e.g. Graham Pink (that rather ages me), Barbara Allatt, Annabelle Blackburn. Terry Bryan and Margaret Haywood, to name just a few. If you read the full Francis report it is based on EVIDENCE from an in depth inquiry – if only one patient had been treated poorly, if only one patient had died as a result, if only one patient has experienced abuse that is one patient too many. You have chosen to ignore where I state that the Francis report also highlights excellent nursing. So I propose that YOUR post is biased i.e. you are not open to the concept of not all nurses being good at their job and are unwilling to even consider any view other than yours. You make petulant remarks about my knowledge of the NHS without any evidence to base that on and call me names – how professional! FYI – I am a qualified professional who has worked on wards so I have first hand knowledge, hence my saying that the majority of nurses care very much. Part of being a professional is having the ability to consider alternative viewpoints and welcoming open debate in a mature manner, not refusing to consider alternatives, accusing people who hold a different stance from you of being crackpots, ignorant and gullible, and calling people names. I have no need to apologise to you for presenting my point of view and neither do I need your sympathy for supporting the need for an open and honest debate about what is happening in the NHS. If we do not have an open debate nothing will change and cover ups will continue; this means that patients AND staff will suffer. Why do you seem to want to stifle such a debate? I also find it very concerning that, a psychiatric nurse who should know all about the stigma of mental ill health and the danger of labels should label people who have views different from theirs as “crackpots”. Choosing to do so reflects badly on you and emphasizes that one way of controlling people and discrediting their opinions is to accuse them of being mentally ill. What is this – Communist Russia? ordinary personn

8:20pm Mon 4 Mar 13

moretonboy says...

LOL got to ya didn't I ? I just love winding up sanctimonious windbags. You see how easy it is to get fooled by something somebody writes or says. You fell for it good style, you're so easy. You're no fun any more, now that I've told you ha-ha. Bye gullible.
LOL got to ya didn't I ? I just love winding up sanctimonious windbags. You see how easy it is to get fooled by something somebody writes or says. You fell for it good style, you're so easy. You're no fun any more, now that I've told you ha-ha. Bye gullible. moretonboy

8:04am Wed 6 Mar 13

ordinary personn says...

moretonboy wrote:
LOL got to ya didn't I ? I just love winding up sanctimonious windbags. You see how easy it is to get fooled by something somebody writes or says. You fell for it good style, you're so easy. You're no fun any more, now that I've told you ha-ha. Bye gullible.
Awwww, no - come back Moronboy and play some more. I was just revving up to post some links to reports and research papers and quotes from medical ethics and you spoiled my fun. I had a target of eliciting at least 5 more purile comments from you - epic fail. In the word of Sheldon Cooper - bazinga punk! :P
[quote][p][bold]moretonboy[/bold] wrote: LOL got to ya didn't I ? I just love winding up sanctimonious windbags. You see how easy it is to get fooled by something somebody writes or says. You fell for it good style, you're so easy. You're no fun any more, now that I've told you ha-ha. Bye gullible.[/p][/quote]Awwww, no - come back Moronboy and play some more. I was just revving up to post some links to reports and research papers and quotes from medical ethics and you spoiled my fun. I had a target of eliciting at least 5 more purile comments from you - epic fail. In the word of Sheldon Cooper - bazinga punk! :P ordinary personn

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