to hope that the report on mid Staffs hospital will shake up the NHS?

(173 Posts)
grovel Wed 06-Feb-13 17:47:44

It was just awful and everyone from the then government through management to clinicians and nurses come out of it badly.

I don't for one moment think it reflects all (or even much) of the NHS but it does suggest a direction of travel which needs to be reversed - from caring service to self-obsessed bureaucracy.

SocialClimber Wed 06-Feb-13 20:50:36

Maybe that's what the NHS needs. Direct culpability for malpractice.

claig Wed 06-Feb-13 20:51:43

One woman said on the news last night that her mother begged her not to let her die there. Her daughter knew it was a desperate place but she didn't want to complain for fear of teh treatment that teh nurses would give to her mother if she made a complaint. The family hoped that her mother would get out and then they intended to make formal compaints. But her mother never made it, she died in that godforsaken "hospital".

It is teh patients that have fear and their families that are too afraid to compalin, but the medical staff have no fear at all. And who allowed this to happen? The politicians and the "managers". What a disgraceful situation.

The whole country prays that it will change. That is all we can do. How dreadful is that. The patients are powerless, the families are powerless and we are powerless and the powerful preside over the whole disgusting disgrace.

claig Wed 06-Feb-13 20:55:25

'We are trained from day one to have a deep rooted idea of safety and what needs doing to keep it safe, ie keeping people from harm. This is where nurses must be lacking, IMO. It's not that they're overworked or stressed all of the time, so are we and we are working to ridiculous targets and pressure from above, we would never leave something unsafe. Not because of the threat of liability, but because we would never want death or an accident on our conscience.'

You are right. It is more than just fear. It is about morality. Somewhere along the line the NHS has become corrupted, the ethics and values have been twisted and contorted and immorality has been allowed to have full rein.

Corygal Wed 06-Feb-13 20:58:22

There is one solution - make staff potentially liable for criminal charges of manslaughter, ABH, GBH, or murder.

You can laff but everyone else in the UK already is when they're at work - eg lorry drivers are still prosecuted if they mow down a cyclist - even soldiers can be taken to court for harming someone else - so why not care staff that kill?

claig Wed 06-Feb-13 21:01:40

'There is one solution - make staff potentially liable for criminal charges of manslaughter, ABH, GBH, or murder.'

That is exactly right. That is the obvious solution that should have been implemented years ago. But will the powerful do it?

iliketea Wed 06-Feb-13 21:03:07

Actually, I think that patients / relatives making formal complaints is something which can change things. I know of nurses who have completed incident forms about low staffing levels resulting in patient neglect (2 members of staff for a ward, most patients needing assistance of 2 people for toileting etc), who advised relatives to make formal complaints to PALS. Ward staff had reported staffing problems, but it was only when formal complaints from patients or relatives started being recieved, and linked to the nurses incident reports that changes were made.

SocialClimber Wed 06-Feb-13 21:04:45

Claig, I don't cry often but I did reading/watching about that story. Heartbreaking, and yeah, powerless. sad

Corygal, I agree.

Corygal Wed 06-Feb-13 21:10:43

Care staff that kill are problems that aren't going to go away, are they, unless they're stopped, or at least put off a bit, and the idea of prison might help.

What really needs to happen is a few people popped into gaol in the way that bad care home owners have been over the past few years. And Stafford killed hundreds and hundreds more people than have ever died in bad care homes, so there's bound to be plenty of choice.

Trouble is the medical profession is notorious for looking after itself too keenly - that's how Shipman got away with it. Now, rather like banking, it stinks. That's unfair for everyone. The govt must take control - no more cosy self-regulation and no more criminal exemption for anyone, inc managers.

MyDarlingClementine Wed 06-Feb-13 21:12:22

" And Stafford killed hundreds and hundreds more people than have ever died in bad care homes, so there's bound to be plenty of choice. "

Unfortunalty we dont know that.

Springdiva Wed 06-Feb-13 21:13:03

One thing that bugs me is that the nurses don't go on strike - it's because they are caring, you see, they always put the patients first - or that's the bullshit that used to be spun.

Well that's hardly going to stand up now but surely to god a few of the nurses who could SEE there was a problem could have gone on strike or threatened to.

Plus the doctors must stand by seeing their patients dying - it is beyond belief that they can sign death certificates for patients who should have been recovered and sent home. Really these staff should be shot.

But employment laws do seem to add to the problem, I mean sending bad nurses for 'retraining' rather than sacking them and banning them from the job is adding to the problem. I bet there are many untrained staff doing the job because they can't find anything else and alot of trained staff just hanging on in there for their pensions.

Corygal Wed 06-Feb-13 21:13:04

Well, Stafford were caught doing it, which is a start. 1,000 killings is a lot.

claig Wed 06-Feb-13 21:15:21

Well said, Corygal. Exactly right.

claig Wed 06-Feb-13 21:21:47

We can't believe how nuns could be so cruel in teh Magdalene Launderies and how the Irish stae and Church were involved, and we can't believe how medical staff can be so heartless and how the state presided over it all.

It seems like a nightmare, but tragically it is real. We have to face facts and make drastic changes. Nothing short of a 'revolytion in the NHS' can stop the rot.

SocialClimber Wed 06-Feb-13 21:29:34

Nurses can't legally go on strike.

Springdiva Wed 06-Feb-13 21:35:57

Nurses can't legally go on strike

That didn't used to be the case, didn't realise it had changed.

claig Wed 06-Feb-13 21:38:39

One woman said that she and her family made sure that they stayed with her mother 24 hours a day, in order to make sure she was cared for. The other woman whose mother begged her not to let her die there, could not stay 24 hours a day and that is why she made no complaint because she feared what would happen when she could not be there.

That is how bad things really are. That is no way to run a health service. Many people should feel ashamed, but shame is not enough, many should also be prosecuted.

SocialClimber Wed 06-Feb-13 21:39:42

Sorry, that was supposed to be a question mark. I was asking because my SIL and I are having a heated debate and she said they can't. But I thought they could if it was in the interests of patient care. Ironic if that's true.

Springdiva Wed 06-Feb-13 21:41:08

Looking online nurses were discussing going on strike in 2011 due to pension changes - so unless things have changed since then they can strike.

ChestyNut Wed 06-Feb-13 21:43:20

As far as I am aware they can social as long as skeleton staff are left to maintain safety.

But that's it most of us won't because we have a responsibility to the patients.

SocialClimber Wed 06-Feb-13 21:45:27

Thanks for clarifying. :-)

I just found this: "Nurses are legally entitled to strike but the Royal College of Nursing, which represents two thirds of all nurses, has a ruling that they should only walk out where it is not detrimental to the wellbeing or interests of patients."

So Spring, in that case I agree with you!

XBenedict Wed 06-Feb-13 21:48:59

"Nurses and midwives must ensure that patient safety is not compromised by industrial action"

Not sure how that would work if you were due on a shift, how could nurses walk out?

Whorulestheroost Wed 06-Feb-13 21:51:16

I'm a district nurse and haven't worked in hospital for over 16 years but what I can tell you is this, It takes me probably 4 times longer to fill in paper work than it does to carry out hands on care. Risk assessments, care plans, Cquins, falls assessments etc etc. This is just for one patient, I see around 10 in a 7.5 hr day. The NHS is so focused on cost cutting a target chasing that it has forgotten what it is all about. Yes what happened at Stafford was appalling, but I doubt it is alone and I doubt that it won't happen again until this changes.

GeorginaWorsley Wed 06-Feb-13 21:52:50

As a nurse of 25 years standing,trained under the 'old' system,I am horrified by what happened at Mid Staffs.
However one thing that has changed over my period of practice is that trained nurses used to nurse,with the assistance of 'auxiliaries' and ward based students.
Our course was hard,we worked fulltime and had to study as well,each ward placement was followed by school of nursing placements that linked theory to practice.Now nurses are expected to do the job junior doctors did then,we have to give powerful intravenous/central line drugs,constantly check drs prescriptions to ensure correct dosages given,liase with many different outside agencies,cope with rapidly increasing population, .
I work on acute paediatric ward.We areusually 'full' but management refuse to close as we will be financially penalised.
So more and more pressure is piled on ,no more staff are available.Or can be called in for financial reasons.
Staff on my unit work 12 hour shifts,usually without a proper meal break.Years ago we worked 8 hour shifts.We were told to accept 12 hours or there would be job losses.And before anyone shouts'tory cuts' this was prior to the 2010 election so on Labour's watch.
There is no excuse for cruelty,but i despair of how we can carry on like this,I really do.

ajandjjmum Wed 06-Feb-13 22:24:36

Thank goodness there are still some good nurses like yourself around Georgina. But surely to make sure someone is eating, that they are comfortable, that their water jug is full doesn't need a nurse's skills, these truly caring roles can be carried out by people without your knowledge, but with the right attitude and empathy?

Over the years with our various 'oldies' we have had experience in a number of hospitals, both in the West Midlands and Lincolnshire. My father had MRSA and his wound was allowed to leak onto the floor, which was not cleaned properly. A poor man died, and his body was left in the bed for over six hours, and I then heard a nurse phone the mortuary saying they'd got someone for 'Rose Cottage'. He'd been lying there for 6 hours! The snarling attitude I've been answered with when asking for test results etc. - or on another occasion, the nurse hiding in the linen cupboard trying to avoid me! And the nurses laughing and giggling through the night around the central station, with no concern whatsoever for the patients closeby trying to sleep.

And it's true what people say, whilst those you love are inpatients, you don't want to make too much fuss incase they suffer, and when they're out (hopefully), you just want to put it behind you and forget it - until the next time. sad

mummyplum1 Wed 06-Feb-13 22:44:32

I'm afraid I have only had time to skim read the thread but I wanted to say that I totally agree with everything the meddle has said. (I'm and NHS doctor married to an NHS doctor).
She is absolutely spot on in my opinion. Huge kudos for taking the time to write all those comments meddle and explain things so clearly. The more people who read them the better and who stop believing the government led rubbish in the tabloids. The whole political/ management thing that is going on is 100% rotten to the core. The vast majority of them don't care about the patients like most doctors and nurses, only about balancing the books and their bonuses.

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