Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Failing managers

I enjoy reading Jenni Middleton’s editorial comments in the Nursing Times.  She doesn’t mince her words though I imagine she has to be careful not to be sued and to keep Department of Health still talking to the Nursing Times.

And there is that slow but relentless Nursing Times campaign to allow nurses to Speak Out Safely. 
In the meantime, the surveys of staff continue to show that there has been absolutely no change in conditions for many and in some cases, a worsening of the situation.

The NHS is awash with the tears of its staff who end their shifts an emotional wet rag, exhausted and utterly frustrated that they haven’t been able to give the care needed.

But time and time again I am wondering why their managers are not being held to account for these dire situations.  Some nurses report that they are just told to ‘get on with it’ when they ask for agency or bank staff to try and fill the gaps.
What sort of response is that?

An elderly relative lives in a well run small care home.  When there are not enough staff on a shift, the manager rolls up her sleeves and gets stuck in.  I imagine that historically, ward sisters did the same in these situations. 

Of course these days, they’d be rolling up their sleeves every day of the week and at night too, on some of these wards.

In developing countries, where health care is scarce, the families are expected to come with their patient and look after them.  I can see that being an answer here in the UK!  Any family member with complex care needs , often already depends on family members to get the care they need.

When the situation is so dire and the Government are not going to do anything about it, perhaps that is what hospital managers should set in place! 

Hospital managers – ahh.  I remember when I was suspended and the whole process was taking forever, I had a meeting to attend with the investigating officer at their pleasant headquarters.  I had already learnt that when secretaries and administrators were off sick, agency staff were employed to fill the gap.  Oh the riches of being in management.

As I was sitting in a comfortable area, waiting to be called to my meeting, the Director of Nursing and other such worthies, walked by, chatting and laughing without a care in the world it seemed, while I sat there as a visible sign of sheer waste, powerlessness and their incompetence!  Oh the waste of tax payers money and my life. 

While the managers continue to avoid contact with their staff, or listen to them or even know who they are and while their bosses conveniently ignore this fact with complaints piling up and adverse events hidden or not reported then there continues to be no hope for vulnerable patients and caring staff.

Yours very sadly

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