Young people may be discouraged from carers in nursing by watching TV hospital dramas full of staff acting unprofessionally, the head of a widely criticised hospital has said.
Antony Sumara is the new chief executive of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Hospital Trust, where a report found “appalling” standards of care earlier this year.
Mr Sumara said shows such as Casualty were entertaining but off-putting for potential nurses, as they show staff breaching patient confidentially by discussing cases within earshot of the patient or downloading confidential files.
On the BBC website’s Scrubbing Up column, he wrote: “What impression of a career in the NHS is set in the minds of young people aspiring to be the future generation of nurses, doctors or chief executives when they watch programmes filled with unprofessionalism and poor conduct?”
Mr Sumara called on programme-makers to create “a true picture of hospital life”.
He said: “Nurses and doctors have a difficult enough job at the best of times without having to live up to inappropriate role models but perhaps a group of individuals working hard together to save lives and improve the health of its patients in a caring and conscientious manner is just not good TV?”