01 March 2008

Dr Grumble's second post ever

Dr Grumble is a hospital doctor. One Saturday recently he did a ward round and lost his temper. He lost his temper because no nurse was prepared to join him on his round. He checked with the junior doctors who told him that this was now the norm. There was now never a nurse on the post-take ward rounds, the rounds that deal with all the acute medical admissions. Dr Grumble is not so young. He is old enough to remember that in the past there used to be a nurse on every consultant ward round. Losing ones temper can be advantageous. He did get a nurse to join the round but she joined it with such bad grace that he felt her presence was wasted.

What has gone wrong with our health service? All this talk of teamworking but nurses do not seem to be prepared to liaise with the doctors any more. There was a time when the ward sister was valued, revered even. But now all nurses want to do is leave the wards and work for NHS Direct - or become a specialist nurse or a nurse consultant. The ward sister is no longer valued. It's doubtful if the title even exists any more. Life on the wards for a nurse is now so grim they can't be blamed. But it is sad, very sad.

The Sunday ward round was no better. Worse really. But there was no time to try and manage the nurses. Patients had to be looked after whether or not the nurses were prepared to help. Dr Grumble did his best.

On Monday he took things further and then was sorry for how he had behaved. Nurse staffing levels were down by one third and had been so for some weeks. The nurses were struggling. No wonder they resented joining the round. It was all they could do to meet the basic nursing needs of their patients.

As a penance Dr Grumble decided to start this blog. A blog to vent his wrath and tell the people of the UK how bad things have become in the health service they still cherish.

Nobody in the hospital where Dr Grumble works will know of his blog. He is not going to tell them. If you tell things as they are you must maintain your anonymity. The events will not identify him because this sort of thing is happening in NHS hospitals throughout the country - every day.

This post was first published on 3rd April 2006 when it was entitled Now not so happy. It has been republished now because nursing standards are in the spotlight following Lord Mancroft's recent comments. Actually things can change for the better. The nursing standards in Dr Grumble's hospital have improved. And Dr Grumble is not saying this just because he has now been identified. Sadly, Lord Mancroft's comments have the ring of truth about them. But were the staff he was referring to really nurses? You see a lot of people who may look like nurses (apart from their dirty finger nails) are not actually nurses at all. And where are all the nurses? Perhaps you need to ask the Witch Doctor and her Black Cat. Or look here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Doc G, this is what Lord Mancroft said:

My bed was next door to the nurses’ station, so you could see how the whole place was being run. Actually, you could not: I have seen lots of things being run, but after a week, I could not tell you who was in charge. I had absolutely no idea who was telling who to do what. My view is that nobody was telling anybody.

The man opposite me was dying. I imagine he died two or three days after I left. I do not know what he was dying of because he was not doing a lot of talking. But I do know that he virtually died alone. The nurses thought that he was a nuisance. They changed his bottle, gave him his pills, occasionally fed him and propped him up. But basically this man died alone in a British hospital in the 21st century, and I had to watch him do it, which was pretty unpleasant.

We have all seen this sort of thing in our hospitals. It's utterly dreadful. It has all stemmed from the government's ludicrous policy of turning nurses into doctors and leaving the patients to fend for themselves with a few slovenly healthcare assistants. As for the cleaning, our hospitals need to be properly clean ALL OF THE TIME not one-off deep cleaned to get a good headline for Gordon Brown. Let's hope the public are not taken in by all of this.

PLEASE, Doc G, do something about it. Run for parliament or something.