Unless of course we are called to higher office sooner, as sure as eggs is eggs we will, well, all end up old, some of us very old and well past our sell by date, we may succumb to the old arthuritus (sic) and/or diabetes and/or heart disease - perhaps multiple comorbidities and our little grey cells may thin at the same rate as our greying hair.
It is well known that unless a relative of yours, old people are a burden on the state and indeed society itself and are not worthy of the title of human being, okay they might be human but their being here is, well, bothersome.
Never mind, the hope is that they will end up a hospital patient and then – God bless’m – the nurses can finish them off! What more satisfying than leaving someone’s gran or granddad lying in their own excreta, starving to death or dying of thirst while you read Hello at the nurses station and discuss last nights date in sordid details! And then there is always the LCP if all else fails!
But of course it is not that easy for when learning of this despicable care via that stalwart of the media The Daily Mail, suddenly the entire world and his brother are up in arms stating that nurses don’t care any more and “They were Angels when I was a lad!” Suddenly everyone cares about the elderly while they ignore Mrs Miggins next door who is so damn lonely the only friends she has is her GP and that nice nurse who visits weekly to dress her wounds. (Mrs Miggins sometimes accidentally on purpose pulls off the dressing so that nice nurse calls more often.)
Interesting then that this recent RCN survey shows that these unfeeling nurses (caring for the elderly) report that due to unsafe staffing levels “that activity was left undone, or was done inadequately on their last shift due to lack of time.” These activities include comforting/talking to patients (78%), falls prevention (45%), helping patients with food and/or drink (34%), helping the patients use the toilet or manage incontinence (33%), pain management (19%) and care of the dying (17%). Please read the full list, the full survey yourself.
Read the whole thing and learn that although older people “who often have the most complex and intense needs… …have a more dilute skill mix than other types of wards.”
Staff (nurse) ratios are thus:
· 9.1 to 10.3 patients per RN on older people’s wards.
· 6.7 patients per RN on adult general/medical/surgical wards
· 4.2 patients per RN on children’s wards.
This survey mirrors findings of the RN4CAST survey which found:
· High nurse BURNOUT and job dissatisfaction were common among nurses in Europe and the
· On average, only 60% of patients were satisfied with their hospital care.
· Those nurses reporting high levels of burnout (notably in
Greece and ) also reported an intention to leave their current employment. England
· Each additional patient added to a nurse’s workload increased the odds of a nurse reporting poor or fair quality of care.
· Patients were less satisfied with their hospital stay in those hospitals that had higher percentages of burn out ore dissatisfied nurses.
Dean Royles, director of NHS Employers, said: "Mandatory staffing levels can not guarantee safe care.
"We do not believe that imposing a crude system of staffing ratios is the right way to tackle poor care."
Well there you go – bloody typical – things will stay as they are!
It is a fact that these unfeeling nurses – alongside completing only tasks they can do such as meds, admissions, discharges, etc, - spend their time completing reams and reams of required (tick box) paperwork that is deemed more important than the tasks they are tick boxing.
It is also a fact that working under these conditions, these unsafe conditions, they are in breach of their Code of Conduct. However there is always the safety net of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) who stand up for their subjects and demand change (not)!“There are now almost 3,500 fewer nurses working in the NHS than in 2010 and the number of managers has also dropped, the NHS workforce census has shown.” ( Daily Telegraph). So much for Cammers promise of protecting front line staff then folks! Things will only get worse for granny now the HSCB is soon to be enshrined in law – you were warned! (See Jobbing Doctor).
I don’t deny that crappy nurses exist as do crappy doctors, plumbers, electricians and whole (coalition) governments for that matter – but if we continue with this scapegoat (the nurse) crap – nothing will change and granny and granddad will continue to be left to stew in it.
Stand up and be counted – do something – complain about staffing ratios when you see poor care – please do something! The odds are YOU will be old one day!
What say you?
Urm - the cutting and pasting shows - didn't before I posted!