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As far as politicians are concerned, does the frontline ever do anything that's correct?


I would like to report David Prior, the chairman of the CQC, for abuse of vulnerable adults, namely, NHS frontline staff.

At the safeguarding of adults training I recently attended, we were told that one of the signs of abuse was: “An overly critical or disrespectful carer who may for example bully, undermine, say you are worthless”.

On the 4th of April on the R4 PM program David Prior stated “… (he) wouldn’t want to go as a patient to Barking Havering and Redbridge Trust, or Heatherwood and Wexham Park… two hospitals that have come out to be inadequate…”.

Of course David Prior is just one of a long line; Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health, has called trusts failing, NICE stated infection rates as unacceptable, and the Daily Mail never has a nice word to say.

Does the frontline ever do anything that’s correct?

When the staff and board turned up for work the following Monday morning, the word INADEQUATE must have been ringing loudly for all to hear. And, as staff on the wards changed Mrs Smith’s bed sheets for the sixth time that shift, they were “heartened” to know they were inadequate.

“Does the frontline ever do anything that’s correct?”

Well, we must do something right. In 2011 Pritchard and Wallace writing for Royal Society of Medicine Press stated, “In cost-effective terms, i.e. economic input versus clinical output, … the UK was one of the most cost effective”. But this is not a picture from the press where the NHS is a huge money pit that provides only mediocre care.

A while ago I learnt to instruct SCUBA diving with a large American organisation. I learnt there are two ways of teaching students; one is to criticise every fault and ensure absolute adherence to all the techniques from the outset. The other method is to praise student A for the excellent way they performed a task (student A now feels great!). Student B hearing the praise will soon mimic the example and improve their technique to match and also feels great for working things out.

I know I hate being continually criticised and remember one school PE report where it said, “…tries hard, but fails to achieve very much” and there I remained, never achieving very much at school. This, perhaps, is where inspection fails. The CQC only ever looks for the worst examples and the frontline or public never get to hear about great work or inspirational leadership going on every day. Trusts go to great lengths to ensure compliance with standards set by the CQC or NICE or Monitor or DH, but these are only the minimum and the truly exceptional care or exciting innovation is simply ignored when it should be shouted about for all to learn from.

If I could, I’d now be completing a safeguarding form on behalf of the staff at Barking Havering and Redbridge and Heatherwood and Wexham Park hospitals.


Jayne Parker is a staff nurse working for the NHS and living in the South East with her partner, a cat and a large motorcycle.

Follow on Twitter: @jayne_parker


Readers' comments (2)

  • Jane I know your work is hard, so is my job.
    All we ever get told is just to do more. One Staff Nurse is doing the work of two, HCAs can get away with doing little, but for us staff nurses the load is firmly on our shoulders to carry.
    Hold your head up because you are doing a job the majority of people cannot do.
    Never let them make you feel that you are inadequate, it is them who must be inadequate as they do not want to understand what we nurses do.

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  • so true, bullied all the time by hunt, other mps, nhs England, we are never valued

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