Monday, 20 December 2010

Recent experiences of working in the NHS

I returned to work part time recently-nothing too strenuous you understand. Two days weekly at a local rehab & recovery residence for those suffering from mental health problems who are preparing to once again live in the chaos we call call 'society'.

Bear in mind that I last worked in 'Secondary Care approx' 15 yrs ago-the time in between spent working for the NHS in 'Primary Care'.But what changes! And none as far as I can see are for the better.

The National Health Service has a new 'patient'...Its called paper work. This 'patient' demands that nurses have to devote the maxiumum of their time too under pain of being disciplined by their mangers & /or the 'system' if they do not, thus removing them from the Real Patient. Nursing staff are so tied up with the 'new patient that the majority of them spend their on duty time in the office thus the 'real patient' has little or no time spent in therapy. Psychiatric hospitals have once again become 'lunatic asylums' where staff only respond to crisis. Paper work is pill ed upon them by a top heavy system of managers who have no direct 'real patient contact' & have therefore no experience of what its like to suffer mental ill health.

Doors are locked on the wards. Thereby keeping 'informal' (or voluntary) patients prisoner. Patients are checked every hour or so & a register signed to ensure their whereabouts.

I have to say though that in my place of employment nursing staff are relaxed, caring, spend maximum time with the patient & therapy of sorts goes on.

Nor do I think that the above sorry state of affairs is unique to psychiatric hospitals. General hospital nurses have little or no time to carry out basic nursing care. The care for which my generation of nurses were trained to do-caring in the true & complete sense of the word. Patients unless they make them themselves a nuisance are for the main ignored & the elderly & infirm are left without food water etc-it being left at the end of the bed.

So this is health care in the 21st Century? It would appear so.

When I trained patients were called patients. Now the patient is called 'The Client'. Bollocks.

That for me, indicates & proves, that the title 'patient' has firmly been moved to the 'new patient'- the paper work. The CPA, Grist, & the myriad of other bits of paper who's names I refuse to allow into my dictionary of patient care. Neither will I call the patients 'the client'. I refuse. Hairdressers, prostitutes & British Rail have clients not nurses.

Heaven help us. Heaven help us.

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