UK – Cameron has totally lost the plot on NHS

broken nhsCameron has excelled himself today. He has managed to come up with TWO brainless ideas.

In an attempt to give the public more confidence in the NHS and GPs, he has come up with a system that will mean more administration for front-line care workers, who are already stretched beyond reasonable limits in NHS trusts around the country.

Cameron has implemented a kind of ‘friends and family’ test which will take effect in April of this year, basically a ‘customer satisfaction’ survey. The survey will ask patients if they would recommend the place they are treated in.

Although feedback from patients can be a very useful indication of certain aspects of their health care, presenting it as a ‘solution’ to healthcare problems within the NHS is ridiculous.

At a time when 7,000 nursing jobs have been cut, and total front-line staff cuts of around 28,000 in, staffing levels in most hospitals are UNSAFE. In addition, around another 32,700 cuts in NHS staff is proposed.

The NHS does not been more smokescreen initiatives dictated by government.

There are several problems that contribute to the state of the NHS, and these are a direct result of government meddling and cost cutting:

  • The NHS is being run as a business and not a service. A service costs money and it not intended to make a profit, therefore, in the main ‘business initiatives’ do not apply.
  • Cuts to the NHS budget result in front-line services being cut – not the numerous layers of unskilled ‘management’ who are desperately trying to protect their own jobs.
  • The control and discipline structure of the NHS has been destroyed by changing from Sister and Matron led service delivery to a business model.
  • Trainee nurses are not trained in an environment where they learn real nursing skills from nurses with solid care experience. Trainees spend too much time in academic environments (with tutors of dubious skill) instead of on the front-line.
  • Too much academic emphasis is placed on training nurses, which means that someone can become a nurse just by writing good essays instead of demonstrating solid caring and interpersonal skills. The academic system is fundamentally flawed.
  • The result of this system is that it creates a cycle of increasingly unskilled nurses.
  • The level of data gathering is ridiculous and inefficient, resulting in less time for staff to spend on care.
  • Morale amongst professional care staff has crashed, the overwork and uncertainty of the future is a direct result of messing about with the NHS instead of providing real healthcare.

There are many more things that could probably be included in the above list that contribute to the shambles of a health service we have today, far removed from the original concept of a professional and safe service we had at its inception.

Our proposed solutions:

  • Stop trying to run the NHS as a business, and get back to providing a care service.
  • Trainees to spend more time on the front-line learning skills and self-discipline from experienced, professional staff.
  • Reduce the administration front-line staff are expected to complete.
  • Restructure and reduce the levels of management.
  • Increase the front-line staff to safe levels
  • Bring back to old system of the Matron being in charge and having the power to make decisions.
  • Allow managers to source supplies locally instead of through an extremely expensive supply chain.
  • Put a workable level of finance into the NHS trusts instead of coming up with ‘smoke and mirrors’ solutions.

The other brainless initiative Cameron proposes is the use of trainee and recently-trained nurses working voluntarily as ‘care makers’ to spread ‘best practice’ (yet another buzzword that he must have heard somewhere and doesn’t really know what the meaning is).

Firstly, their training is not good enough for them to have a real perception of the provision of care, neither do they have the experience – they are learning!

Secondly, why should a trainee or newly qualified nurse who is already under pressure be expected to give their free time to help the government sort out its mess?

Instead of coming up with more rubbish that serves no real purpose, the whole system needs to be stripped do and rebuilt on the core concept of a free health service with high quality care – it’s not rocket science! Less time needs to be spent on analysing the NHS and more time on providing care.

The problems the NHS is experiencing is a DIRECT RESULT of government incompetence.

Many a Matron would be turning in their graves if they could see what has happened to a service they were once proud to be part of.

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