Monday, 11 February 2013

Once again...the NHS!

I am trying to uncover the real hideous aspects of the NHS. You see I personally owe the NHS my life. It is now twelve years since they removed my large bowel and ten years since they replaced it with an internal pouch (the worst decision of my life by the way). During my extensive period in hospital I learned how to play 'the game'.

My advantage was that I could speak good English, I was educated and articulate so I could communicate my problems to almost anyone.  At that time the very first foreign nurses were being introduced into the system.  Some of them came in as agency 'nurses' who were needed to cope with the 'midnight shift'.  They soon realised that this particular old guy would not tolerate sub standard care.

That is the crux of the matter. I was able and capable to gain their respect. Today thirteen years later, when my mother needed care I realised that the NHS had been flooded by foreign staff at every level.  Don't get me wrong we probably need them because British doctors/nurses have probably gone into the private sector.

The trouble is that most elderly people speak with a heavy regional accent. They simply cannot communicate with a foreign nurse. The foreign nurse speaks 'English' but not the regional English (Scottish GRN) that our elderly speak. I don't think that the foreign staff can understand the elderly who never expected that they would need an interpreter!

So in every aspect of our governmental life, foreigners are allocated  a translator (at huge cost) who ensure that these incomers get a fair deal.  May I pose the question that why are the very people who have paid into the system all their lives being denied an interpreter now that the NHS by and large is being run by foreigners who cannot understand regional accents?

If a nurse has limited English (good enough to communicate at grammar level)  who is checking to ensure that the old granny is being represented at her desperate level.  The answer is that nobody has even thought about it! We have set up a system that caters for almost every dialect/language from almost any part of the world, I know because I used to book them on behalf of the Court Service but nobody thinks that it is important for our elderly and our regional accents to be protected.

Our elderly need protected against the over reliance on foreign nursing staff. It is a problem which merits a lot of attention but our elderly are not a priority for the Coalition, our politicians or our NHS trusts. The elderly of this country are only important as long as they can communicate...think on because one day it will be your turn!

1 comment:

GrumpyRN said...

Bryan, even our British doctors and nurses can get confused when spoken to by a broad Glaswegian or Aberdonian speaking Doric. Every hospital I have been in in Scotland it seems to be it is medical staff rather than nursing staff who have poor English. I do however take your point and it is hugely frustrating having to continually call the translation services (at huge cost.