Sometimes this little ranty person appears and has a stomp about. That’s the way I feel today; in fact, it has been brewing for a few days. My experiences of the NHS go back over many years and come from personal stays in hospital, local GP cover at health centres, visiting relatives and parishioners in hospital and being with people who are dying. In addition, I spent a vivid few days and nights working as a nursing auxiliary. (I was trying to boost the family budget.) That last foray into the world of hospital work was pretty terrifying and exhausing. My training was minimal, yet at times I was left to look after 30 patients in a Nightingale ward. Nightmare.
Before getting back to the rant I have to say that much of my contact with the NHS has been positive, though there has been significant cause for grumble, particularly with regard to hospital staff and their lack of attention to patients needing help. I can understand why nurses who as a rule are university trained, feel that their job should not be to empty bedpans and feed elderly and incapable geriatrics. Indeed, health care workers (like the old auxiliaries) are being employed at the rate of 3 to 1 qualified nurses. It makes me uneasy to think that health workers are left to deal with the hands-on nursing like washing, toileting, eating…. whilst the qualified nurses are more paper-orientated and responsible for complicated procedures, tests and medication.
Nursing to me, is about keeping a patient comfortable, with the basics of life provided for in a caring and dignified manner. The stories we have been hearing have been about the exact opposite, and doctors have been forced to “write-up” their patients for water to drink. I suppose I have poor memories of dying parents and I therefore worry about myself and my friends needing hospital care. The government seems to allocate more and more funds, yet the basics have shifted so that people are cases needing treatment rather than individuals who need care.
The sad thing is that I can rant, as have lots of others in newspapers and blogs; but what I want to know is when will it get better?
There – that’s my rant over. What do you think?