One retired GP wrote ' I felt ashamed of my profession and cried at your distress'

(94 Posts)
claig Germany Sat 08-Dec-12 13:45:07

Ann Clywd MP asked a question in this week's PMQ and it was very emotional.

It is yet another case of disgusting treatment of patients in our hospitals. Why does this continue?

I hope there is an effective campaign that can change such shocking treatment.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2244912/Ann-Clwyd-MPs-heartbreaking-account-NHS-neglect-husband-Owen-Roberts.html

claig Germany Sun 09-Dec-12 13:17:51

Saskia and Rindercella, I am surprised that even in private hospitals the treatment cannot be good too. It is disgraceful. How has it come to this? How have politicians allowed this decline to occur?

Rindercella Sun 09-Dec-12 13:18:30

I agree Claig, this really does have to be top priority. If we are unable to treat people who are reaching the end of their lives with kindness and compassion, it is a truly sad indicator of the nature of our society.

TakeMyEyesButNotTheGoat Sun 09-Dec-12 13:22:15

Some checklists ARE useful but not all. Its all very well increasing the amount of paperwork to make sure this and that are done, but without enough staff, it won't get done anyway.

The incident about the oxygen was a stupid and dangerous error made by the staff, and you did the right thing by complaing to make sure it doesn't happen again. Those kind of checklists are a useful tool but many are not.

As for not being allowed to stay overnight Rindercella, what were the reasons tbey gave?

We have never refused relatives of a terminally ill patient to stay if they are in a side room.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Sun 09-Dec-12 13:27:58

Claig I think in a private hospital you are getting what you pay for. If your condition requires more than that you will very quickly find that they care more about your ability to pay than your actual need for treatment.

I suppose the same is true with the NHS - if we want our hospitals to be run by caring, compassionate people who can give patients exactly the care they need we have to pay for it. And no, I don't think that necessarily means increasing the budget. Instead, they should look at the numbers of admin and management staff vs the staff who provide healthcare, do the cleaning etc. And we should be asking why, when cuts are made, is it the useful people who get laid off/aren't replaced, not the office dwellers.

To give an example: our local A&E now has three receptionists, but only one triage nurse.

claig Germany Sun 09-Dec-12 13:28:38

Don't we have cameras in police stations so that it can be seen how the police handle people who are arrested. The police are trained to treat people with respect and they maintain good standards, and officers that fall short of their duty are disciplined.

I think that maybe we need cameras on wards so that poor treatment can be identified and dealt with.

Andy Burnham aid that his MP's postbag contains letters detailing poor care in hospitals.

This can't continue to be swept under the carpet. Someone needs to be held responsible for what is going on.

claig Germany Sun 09-Dec-12 13:32:43

Agree with you Saskia.

Let's have some investigative documentaries of what is going on. Let's show the public the extent of it. Let's make it public, so that the politicians are forced to act and do whatever is necessary.

If that means reallocating public funds from areas that are less important, then that must be done.

Let's bring it to light, so that it can't be hidden in the shadows any longer.

TakeMyEyesButNotTheGoat Sun 09-Dec-12 13:36:21

Admin staff are needed though. Those 3 receptionists must be needed in a busy A&E. If they are not there who do you think will do the work?
It will have to be the nurses. Same with wards, receptionists are needed.

The nurses have their own paperwork that unqualified staff can't do.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Sun 09-Dec-12 13:51:29

I agree that admin staff are needed, but in this case they do not need three receptionists. And they aren't admin workers, they are simply receptionists, they answer the phone, point people in the direction x-ray, that kind of thing. The admin person has an office and there's only one of her.

Dromedary Sun 09-Dec-12 14:13:09

I had a very bad experience in hospital with a young DC. The nurses were frankly horrible - showed no interest at all in the sick DC and I was seriously bullied. They were clearly enjoying themselves. Hospital nurses have a great deal of power, and many of them appear to enjoy abusing it. Once that is the accepted culture, it's hard to backtrack.

BumgrapesofWrath Sun 09-Dec-12 14:15:52

Question for the people who work in the NHS. If you see a colleague behaving in an unprofessional way, do you take steps to ensure their behaviour is addressed?

I think one way to bring about change is for nurses etc to be held accountable by their peers.

tiredemma Sun 09-Dec-12 17:58:03

Bumgrapes blush absolutely. Challenge all bad practice, its just not tolerated. I tell my nurses to speak up and not be afraid to challenge anything that they know isn't right. If you send out the message that this is not only the ethos of our ward but also of our profession then it creates an understanding between the team that this is the ONLY way to work. Nursing is very stressful, no excuse for not treating someone with compassion and dignity though.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Sun 09-Dec-12 18:06:22

Unfortunately, people in the NHS who speak up often do not only get ignored, but mistreated. I know people who have built entire - and very prosperous - legal careers out of of representing unfairly dismissed NHS whistleblowers.

lyndie Netherlands Sun 09-Dec-12 18:07:10

Survey after surgery shows 90-95% of people who have used the NHS in the last year rated care as satisfactory or very satisfactory, but when you read newspapers or Internet forums all you get is stories like the ones above. Not many of the 95% are talking about their experiences because there was nothing wrong with their care.

lyndie Netherlands Sun 09-Dec-12 18:08:24

survey after survey

TakeMyEyesButNotTheGoat Sun 09-Dec-12 18:14:25

Many of the complaints that I've read, complaints about our ward or staff, are assumptions.

People assume we can't be bothered to toilet someone, assume we can't be bothered to feed someone etc.

Mistakes are made, they are dealt with to make sure they don't happen again. Staff have made complaints against other staff for poor nursing practices.

Its not our fault if those bad nurses are still allowed to work the wards. We just try to carry on and pick up the pieces.

Rindercella Sun 09-Dec-12 19:26:07

From the patients' perspective, many of the experiences I have heard of or lived through have been due to nursing staff not taking the time to listen to their patients.

Why do people who are suffering so badly, at the end of their lives, have to give up so much because nursing professionals can show them neither dignity nor respect?

MrsjREwing Sun 09-Dec-12 21:33:19

I made a complaint, I would put on survey that my care was above satisfactory, it was apart from a few things, one being oxygen not attached to wall.

claig Germany Sun 09-Dec-12 22:08:39

Well done for making a complaint, MrsjREwing. Many people who are not satisfied don't go through with actually making a complaint, but that doesn't mean that the care was satisfactory.

MPs post bags contain complaints and have done for ages and it is time that this was looked at very seriously.

There was a nursing union official, I think, on TV today and he said that 92% of people surveyed were satisfied. But 8% is much too large a figure and of those surveyed how many were for minor conditions.

Do a survey of teh elderly and the dying and then quote the figure.

It is the system and management that are at fault. They need to turn things around and they need to do so urgently.

Ann Clywd has said she will campaign and may God help her in every way. The people need someone to speak up on their behalf.

EdgarAllanPond Mon 10-Dec-12 22:28:28

agree management at fault.

accountability seemed to me to be lacking. that didn't matter for the staff who did their job well for the sake of doing it well, but every profession has card-punchers, and for them there need to be checks - and also rewards for those doing well.

if no one checks, no one gets thanked, or held to account.

that isn't 'management by fear' - that is normal good management practice. good communication also is promoted by such checks and handovers..

Finallygotaroundtoit Mon 10-Dec-12 23:08:02

I'm sorry that she felt there was a lack of care and compassion but one commentator picked up that the MP seemed to expect a nurse to come and wipe her husband's eye, moisten his lips and give him a drink - when she was sitting there and capable of doing it.

If nurses are stretched they perhaps prioritise people who don't have a visitor.

She also had expectations of doctors being present on the ward most of the time and being around to talk to relatives daily - there just isn't the time

claig Germany Mon 10-Dec-12 23:12:38

What commentator was that? What idiot says such things? She noticed what happened when she was present. Imagine what happened when she wasn't present?

Shame on that commentator. He or she should learn some basic human compassion and put themselves in her position and that of her husband.

Absolute disgrace.

claig Germany Mon 10-Dec-12 23:16:12

'She also had expectations of doctors being present on the ward most of the time and being around to talk to relatives daily'

If a person is dying, it is not too much to be kept informed by a doctor. If teh doctor can't be present, then they should inform a nurse and ask teh nurse to update teh patient's loved ones.

No excuses for this shocking treatment, and shame on the 'commentator'!

Finallygotaroundtoit Mon 10-Dec-12 23:20:06

What I'm trying to say is if you're sitting in front of someone who needs a drink why not give them one instead of expecting a nurse (who as some posters have said may not even have time for a loo break) to come and do it?

Angelico Mon 10-Dec-12 23:27:32

These stories make me angry beyond words. What frustrates me is that everyone feels angry but no one seems to know where to begin when it comes to tackling the problem. The only way I can see is for people to complain and sue until it costs hospitals more to pay out compensation than it does to adequately staff wards. Perhaps then they'll see it as cost-saving to pay for proper patient care.

But staff do have to accept some of the blame. I've seen it myself in hospitals - nursing staff hanging out at reception having a good laugh while patients wait for medication and assistance. Everyone wants medical staff to enjoy their job - but not at the expense of patient discomfort.

claig Germany Mon 10-Dec-12 23:28:48

Of course she gave him a drink, but that is a job that nurses should be doing. We all pay our taxes to be looked after in hospitals and we all expect nurses to check up on the needs of all patients.

She asked nurses to come over and help, she asked for a less tight oxygen mask, she asked for cover for her husband's feet and she got nothing in return, they said they were "busy", and they said "in aminute" and they did nothing. She said her husband was treated like a battery hen. She said she felt like burning the hospital down.

Disgusting disgrace in our country. Fire the management and warn everybody that there will be legal consequences if this kind of poor treatment is discovered again.

Get it understood that teh patient comes first. Absolutely no excuse for this disgrace in our country.

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