Massive, hidden gulf in NHS nurse numbers

Last Updated: April 28, 2013By

Long comment from one of my readers follows. It is pertinent to this, though:
“I used to be a nurse for many years. I trained under the old system before Project 2000. I’ve never worked as hard, been so tired or enjoyed a job more in my life. After training I went on permanent night duty in a busy A&E department in a smallish hospital. It was a great, friendly place to work and because during the night there were always fewer staff on duty we all supported and relied on each other. We would often have crazy busy nights when it got to around 5am before anyone got chance to sit down with a brew. We gave our all for our patients because that was why we were there and this fact alone was for me the reason why I got so much job satisfaction, despite the crap wages.
“Then along came Thatcher and her divide and rule ‘quasi-market’ ideology for the NHS. Suddenly we were not all one hospital any more but an NHS Trust divided into Directorates. Staffing levels started to drop. We were instructed to order cheaper equipment such as substandard paper gowns with no sleeves in and nothing to tie them together at the back so patients felt exposed and embarrassed wearing them or the cheaper intravenous drip tubes made by some company connected with Tory MP John Gummer that somehow never worked properly…cheaper dressings, cheaper everything.
“Each Directorate had its own nursing budget and the responsibility for this was devolved down to chief Nursing Officers (NOs). This had some perverse consequences such as the NO of the Medical Directorate who was responsible for the cardiac arrest team telling the NO of the Surgical Directorate she’d reached her monthly quota for call outs of the team so any further use of this service would have to come out of the surgical budget…a huge row broke out. Nurse was set against nurse and morale began to suffer.
“I have no idea what its like to work in the NHS now but what I do know from recent experience as a patient is that wards are chronically understaffed. Despite this I received excellent care from nurses and doctors alike. They saved my life. This nurse baiting is a typical Tory tactic not unlike their attack on benefit recipients. Its lazy and dishonest politics, its unfair and its ugly.”

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  1. Mike Sivier April 28, 2013 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Please make sure – if you haven’t already – to sign my e-petition on the government’s website, calling for MPs to be banned from speaking or voting on matters in which they have a financial interest – to take the corruption out of Parliament, in essence.

    Here’s the link:

    Please sign!

  2. skwalker1964 April 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the reblog, mate. I’ve signed the petition and shared it on Twitter and variously on Facebook – great one!

  3. sparaszczukster April 30, 2013 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    I’m now thinking that all the recent horror stories and distorted facts about the NHS performing badly are going to be used to try to convince us that privatisation is needed to make the health service ‘efficient’ and ‘cost effective’. If I’m right, this is nothing short of treason.
    If anyone is still in any doubt that Mark McGowan was right when he said that this government was intent on transferring public money into private hands or still thinks that our NHS is safe with the Tories I suggest they check out the following links to a great website called Corporate Watch. Its chilling.

    I emailed these to Jeremy Hunt yesterday asking for an explanation. I doubt he’ll reply.

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