Thursday, 11 October 2007

The spin and the reality

The Spin - Happy Shiny People from the DoH "A New Ambition for Stroke" document which sets a target for CT scan within 60 minutes for patients thought to have suffered a stroke.

The Reality - "Many of the buildings, especially at the Kent and Sussex Hospital, were old and in a poor state of repair. Many of the wards did not have sufficient storage, space in utility rooms, or hand basins, making the control of infection difficult. The beds on several wards were much too close together, making it difficult to clean between them and seriously compromising the privacy of patients. Although there had been improvements generally in cleanliness and hygiene since the outbreak was declared, there were still some serious concerns. When we visited, we observed levels of contamination that were unacceptable, such as bedpans that had been washed but were still visibly contaminated with faeces."

"Other medical wards such as Cornwallis and John Day also had high bed occupancy figures of over 100% for several months. Whatman ward consistently had a rate of between 85 and 94%. In April 2006, when functioning as a cohort ward, its bed occupancy rate increased to 110%."

"Many attributed much of the poor care to the shortage of nurses and talked of seeing exhausted nurses in despair, with their heads in their hands. However others talked about poor attitude of some staff, including agency nurses. They described instances of nurses shouting at patients, leaving them unattended for hours, and not providing a proper level of care."

Report of the Healthcare Commission: "Investigation into outbreaks of Clostridium difficile at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust" which killed 90 patients.


Nurse Anne said...

Well surprise surprise. It is starting to sound like medical wards across the country are having the same problems.

On my ward we have new admits coming in before the discharged patients are officially discharged. We have beds in utility rooms etc. The porters are told to dump them on the ward whether the nurses are ready for them and able to accept them or not. Handovers are hit and miss. I am having to ditch drug rounds to clean rooms. We had someone neutropenic going into a room that had just been vacated by someone with c-diff. Can you guess where the c-diff patient went so that the neutropenic patient could have the sideroom? Arguing with these people is futile. Nurses have no control over their wards and if we refuse an unsafe situation they just bypass us completely.

Managements mantra is "tough titties" and "deal with it". Same old. Same old.

Dr Ray said...

Thank you for your comment nurse anne.
Iain Dale has published a letter on his blog showing that the government knew that hospital Chief Executives were ignoring safe principles of healthcare to reach government targets.
The medical and nursing staff are just being scapegoated to hide the truth behind these politically sanctioned deaths.