With a patronising nod and a proverbial pat on the bottom, nurses are put firmly in their place by an angry GP from the internet. As far as Beyond the Bedpan is concerned, this just got personal.
“Dr Crippen”, the prolific and anonymous Guardian blogger, is one jaded GP.
He scoffs at the swine flu vaccination programme, wags a finger at the British Medical Association, and generally laments the downfall of the NHS with a series of witty and often brilliant invectives against the government, nurses, and anyone else who would obscure the view of the medical profession’s all-seeing eye.
It’s not that he doesn’t like nurses. He just doesn’t like nurses who prescribe, study for degrees, become clinical specialists, or concern themselves with anything other than “basic care”.
The study found that GP practices with more nursing staff tended to have better quality and outcomes framework scores on COPD, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.
For a start, Dr Crippen dismisses the QOF system as a shambles and attacks the government for daring to measure the performance of GPs in the first place. He is not the first to question the reliability of the QOF, and he does make some thought provoking comments about the true relationship between outcome measures and good medicine.
But the QOF is too “mind-numbingly repetitive” for doctors to bother with. “Because the work is dull, it is often handed over to nurses”. Thanks, doc.
And it is precisely this kind of dull work that nurses should stick to. Not only is the idea that they might improve care preposterous, but their very pursuit of such lofty ambitions is damaging health care.
“This is why Granny has bedsores. This is why there are no nurses on the wards. This is why the Macmillan nurses do not do hands-on nursing. This is why district nurses no longer do bed baths. These nurses are all ‘graduates’ now. They have their BSc (Bedpan) from the University of Formerpoly and have thus become too important to carry out basic nursing care”.
So what promises to be an interesting commentary on a key issue quickly descends into a blinkered tirade against the entire nursing profession. At least it keeps Beyond the Bedpan busy.