3 Mar 2010

working in the nhs

until recentley i worked for the nhs here in london on a busy transplant ward. did i enjoy my job? well yes i loved looking after the patients who were going through such an ordeal. i met some very brave people who are an inspiration to us all. it was very hard work tho, short of staff on many occasions made it very difficult and the blame culture only served to make things worse. when i started i thought it would be about caring for patients as oppossed to meeting targets. management seem to pride themselves on being sticklers for protocols and guidelines with no common sense at all. its a shame because when dealing with poorly patients the common sense approach really helps.
i cant say the amount of times i have listened whilst doctors or consultants doing the rounds refer to the patient as "such and such transplant" - its shocking that they do it in front of the patient which makes them feel uncared for.
i always got into trouble for being outspoken but i saw my role as being there to care for my patients and whatever their needs surely its our job to meet them. it made me sick hearing all the jargon about budgets and targets-what about patients?
the atmosphere is of fear because we are told we have to take personal responsibility for all our actions and can be taken to court. this puts more pressure on and i feel its done so as to allow management to escape taking responsibility. why have managers then?
i worked with some first class staff who are dedicated and hard working but there were also others who had no compassion, were incompetent and frankly dangerous. when i expressed concerns i was told to mind my own business basically.
finally i decided to act when i realised that senior staff where commiting fraud by claiming for bank shifts and not actually working them thus costing the nhs lots of money. i took my findings to the nhs fraud team not because i had personal grudges but because each day we struggled to work with too few staff.
i fell foul of management on many occassions for speaking my mind, i dont believe in remaining silent in the face of bad practice. one manager said i did not show respect - respect is something you earn and not because you wear a fancy uniform.
looking back i do not regret taking the job though i would not recommend it to others. my patients and families were brilliant and i learned a lot from them.
as for the fraud investigation, well we will see if it produces results other than the sacking of 2 matrons.

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