Oh, and it was the same when we were without a permanent chief exec for a time: no-one below board level noticed.
In my last job, a community MH service, we once went for 9 months without a service manager: no-one noticed; patients were still seen; everything went on as normal; a couple of us signed time sheets and expenses claims. And yet every time we went for any period of time without a clinician or member of admin staff we and our patients noticed it: not enough clinicians to see patients; prescriptions not written; assessments taking far longer to carry out; longer waits for diagnosis; letters not sent; appointments not arranged; phones not answered. Now, can we have a definition of "essential" please?
Comment on: 'I’ll take competency over compassion'
Strange how a piece about competence becomes an excuse for the "do away with degrees" brigade (disclaimer: I qualified under the apprenticeship model, but already had a degree in something else). The apprenticeship model may, well did, prepare one for running a ward better than any of the subsequent models of training. However, it was woeful in terms of any theoretical underpinning of what we did, shoddy in teaching about the nature of diseases and disorders, hopeless in explaining anatomy and physiology (nowhere near what I had done a decade before in A-level biology), and we would have tutors claiming that "research shows" when the paper they cited did NOT show what they claimed. Schools of nursing were no sort of "golden age" and certainly were not centres of excellence. The original P2000 went too far away from practice-based training (as was pointed out in at least one of the pilots, 'cos I was working in one), which has subsequently been rectified. If, as some above have complained, students aren't learning certain things on placement, then why might that be? Can everything be pinned on that universal baddy, the university? Nursing has become a different beast than it was when I started as a nursing assistant: training and education must reflect that.
Just to add to the sensible comments already given, after the worst (for very different reasons) placement of my training I took that as an example of how NOT to do things and reacted against it. Seeing how things shouldn't be done can be as helpful as seeing how they should be done. It horrifies me how quickly some qualified nurses seem to forget that they were students, needing to learn.
This is one of the reasons why some of us were members of NUPE or COHSE, then Unison: we regarded taking industrial action, up to and including withdrawal of labour, as potentially necessary. And as for this "we can't leave our patients" rubbish which is trotted out as an excuse not to take action, in the early '80s when strike action was taken the hospital I trained at had MORE staff on wards on strike days than normal as the agreed safe staffing minima were HIGHER than what we had to work with usually. Do such agreements not still exist? Or is it too convenient for some of the RCN to pretend they don't?