Although a nurse - I am indeed lucky to work outside of the NHS - for if not, I would feel very threatened, undervalued and unprotected.
I would bring your attention to this statement from the DoH which was briefly reported in the media and has now disappeared into oblivion. It states that doctors and nurses should be charged with a new crime of 'wilful neglect' if they fail to look after patients. Sounds fair to me
It also states that ".... ensuring that providers have sufficient qualified, skilled and experienced staff and patients are protected from the risks of inadequate nutrition and hydration."
I can't speak for doctors, but if nurses such as Nurse Anne go home in near tears, as she is terrified that she has made a mistake or killed someone, as she is stretched to the limit by dangerous (qualified) staffing levels - how will nurses cope when this becomes more widespread?
Nurses in hospital are natural scapegoats. If a doctor makes a drug error and the nurse carries out his/her orders, the nurse is responsible and accountable for carrying out said orders. If a cadet/HCA fails to assist a patient with feeding, come 'wilful neglect' the nurse will be responsible and accountable - even though she will be unable to supervise as she is carrying out doctors orders, doing meds rounds, attending to patients in difficulty and completing the mass of required paperwork
The Conservative Health Manifesto stated "We will cut the cost of NHS administration by a third and transfer resources to support doctors and nurses on the front line." Aint happening.
If nursing levels sink even lower - patients are going to starve and become dehydrated (outside conditions where a patient declines food and hydration at end stage illness) and yes it does happen now due to dire staffing levels - nurses will pay the price for something that will become increasing beyond their control.
Can anyone speak up for the medical and nursing professions please? We meed more - not less! Why can you not imagine they are forests/woodlands and raise Cain?