Tuesday, 8 November 2011

NHS - Complaints!

This is one for the locals who pop in and out of this blog! I read today in the Daily Mail that they had compiled a league table to record the number of complaints against the behaviour and attitude of nursing staff members in NHS hospitals.

Top of the table, way out in front, was LEICESTER ROYAL INFIRMARY who racked up 275 complaints in 2010!! Now why am I not surprised at that? When my wife and I were on a short break my daughter marched in and was so concerned about the condition of my 93 year old mother that she discharged her and took her home! Not one person asked why!? That was after one nurse took her to the toilet (she was recovering from a fractured hip) and left her in there. She was only released after a passing catering lady heard her tapping SOS on the toilet door!! Well done the Royal this was an award richly deserved.

Oh and by the way Leicester General climbed to 8th in the league. Not bad considering the number of NHS hospitals in the country. Perhaps we should be looking at who is training these people.


GrumpyRN said...

Seriously.....? 275.....? In a whole year......? Something wrong surely, my department gets that, never mind the whole hospital. Most complaints are petty minded nonsense and are usually because the nursing staff would not do something that someone wanted. We even get complaints that we have the wrong type of coke in the vending machines. However, I accept that some complaints are justified but by no means all.
The Daily Mail is notoriously anti NHS and is full of hate. I would point you to this http://www.shotdeadinthehead.com/product_view.aspx?pid=940

GrumpyRN said...

Just had a look at the article, piss poor statistics. It would be more useful if they compared like with like or even gave percentages per 100 employees. When you compare big teaching hospitals with small cottage hospitals then figures will be skewed. Stepping Hill had no complaints? Really? Despite someone killing off patients?

Real answer is in the public's hands. Tell the government to spend more on front line care and to stop trying to make the NHS into a business so that they can sell it to the private sector. Nurses today are overwhelmed by sick patients with no trained staff on the wards - remember, the nurse you see on the ward is not necessarily a trained nurse.

UK spends something like 9% of it's GDP on healthcare, in the USA it is 16%. US is 50th in the world for life expectancy - UK is 36th (depending on which figures you use).

bryboy said...

Hello GRN..I was convinced that you would respond to those stats but...surely you cannot argue that somewhere along the line your profession has a problem? We will all agree that the nurses are generally...mmm... good but I know that those serving today do not have the same professional dedication of those of yesteryear. I take your point about lack of resources but I have personal experience of seeing ten nurses manning a post operation recovery ward (at Leicester General)being asked to keep the noise down by a lady trying to rest after an op! Her husband complained and my wife and I witnessed it! The staff were collected around the admission desk and were laughing and shouting about their personal lives. I don't know how you in Scotland behave but here in Leicestershire we have a real problem. May I ask by the way if you are a union rep?

GrumpyRN said...

Hmmm, I don't think it is as simple as all that. A combination of you (and me) getting older and seeing the young as feckless and workshy when it is really us that has the problem. As a newly qualified nurse I was part of a group that was told to behave by the sister on the ward as we were making too much noise so it is not new.
The increasing expectations of the general public along with the reduction in respect for medical professionals means that when patients are told something for their own good they ignore it and do what they want, and then complain when they are picked up on this. I once had a patient admitted for observation who refused to stay in his bed or ward and insisted on going for a smoke - told smoking not allowed in hospital started shouting about what had he done wrong that I was criticising him. Could not get it into his head that he had taken the drugs and felt funny and came to us for this and we could not do our jobs if he was not being observed, he was not in any way mentally impaired by the drugs, they just made his heart beat faster. When someone who is in their teens or early 20's is arguing with you about a treatment or diagnosis you have to wonder where they got their degree from - usually Dr Google or from watching ER or Casualty.

I would disagree with you about the students and nurses of today as I have found no real evidence of this except anecdotal, the students who come through my department are dedicated and although their knowledge is sometimes a bit suspect they are there to learn -unpaid.

Perhaps I am lucky, I have been a patient in 2 different hospitals - my own and another. I have found the caring to be good and appropriate, but then I am an Emergency Nurse Practitioner, My wife is a Staff Nurse and My mother is a retired Sister, but as far as I am aware this has made no difference. In fact it means I know what to look for.
Is this Scotland versus England? I hope not, I would like to believe that the NHS is the NHS but........ And as you are or should be, aware the NHS in England is under tremendous threat.

10 nurses on 1 ward? I would be surprised if they were, they were more likely 3 nurses and 7 others. Either health care assistants or in some cases could even be domestics. It also sounds as if it was visiting time, a time for staff to chill a bit. I am not trying to condone this but young girls will make noise.
The last complaint I answered was someone who insisted that I should be retrained as I was not as nice to them as they thought I should be - this was someone whom I warned the doctor who went to see them that they were aggressive.

I am not and never have been a union rep.