Many years ago senior nurses told Dr Grumble that nurses should never be taken away from the hands-on provision of basic nursing care. Dr Grumble thought they were crackers. They told Dr Grumble that it would be the beginning of the end of nursing. Dr Grumble took the view that as nursing was becoming more technical and there was a need for nurses to take on technical tasks usually done by doctors, it would be better to get others to do the chores like washing bottoms. How wrong he was. Basic nursing care is important. Nurses, very senior nurses, used to tell that to Dr Grumble. They were right. And basic nursing is, yes, nursing. It is not anything else. It should be done by a nurse and a senior nurse should ensure that it is done properly.
Now nurses are trained away from the wards. Some are too clever to care, others too posh to wash. See what the lovely Amy Wilkins, a student nurse, has to say on this. Her more senior colleagues agree with her. But for how long?
Dr Grumble was so very wrong.
This post was first published on 6th May 2006. It has been republished because at last the public is becoming aware about the fall in the quality of ward-based nursing. Unfortunately there is no focus any more on nursing standards - traditional nursing standards - because everybody is distracted by a government hell bent on moving nurses to call centres or turning them into quasi doctors. We need people in charge on the wards. They should be senior nurses. They should be responsible for the behaviour of their nurses and the cleanliness of the ward. They should be held responsible if anything goes wrong. Is there any point in throwing in that all this no blame culture thing has gone too far?
It's a shame nobody listens to Dr Grumble.