Dr Grumble does not want his male and female patients milling around together on the same ward if they are not happy with that. But the average NHS ward does not always make it easy to fully separate the sexes and Dr Grumble would sooner see the sexes together than not have a bed for his patient. And with ever decreasing bed numbers this is the choice our managers have to make.
Dr Grumble does not like having to ask patients about private matters behind some flimsy curtains which just play lip service to privacy. Read the books about how to convey bad news to a patient that is hard of hearing and it is unlikely that it would advise you to shout this information to the patient in an open ward. But these are the realities of today's NHS. Who gets the blame? Sometimes the doctors. But it's not our fault. It's the environment in which we are forced to work.
If our managers were genuinely concerned about patient dignity wouldn't they provide patients with something better than the typical hospital gown? What function do these things serve? What's the betting the hospital managers claim there is some special clinical need? If Dr Grumble wants to examine a sick man in one of these ghastly garments he has to first sit him up, then undo tightly knotted ties then somehow lift the sick patient's bum off the bed and so on. In short, it's a real struggle to expose the patient's chest. What might the patient wear otherwise? Pyjamas perhaps? What could be easier? Unbutton the front and everything is accessible. Sit the patient forward and lift the pyjama top up and the back of the chest is there for auscultation. As for the abdomen, that too is easily accessible if the patient is in pyjamas. Oh and they cover the patient's bum for when they want to walk about. Come on managers, help us a bit! Buy in some pyjamas!
26 November 2006