One of the things I like about my job is wearing pyjamas to work each day that are laundered, and sometimes ironed, by the kindly NHS.
But, I have one problem with scrubs. To find a pair of trousers that are long enough in the leg, I need to wear a pair of XXLs with a crutch so low it would have suited MC Hammer in the 80s.
So I was interested to hear while listening to the Today Program on my drive to work, that Sir Stuart Rose is being drafted in to improve management within the NHS. Sir Stuart’s claim to fame is that he used to run Marks and Spencer, which gives me high hopes for my issue with scrubs and the “one size fits no-one” problem.
Could they now be designed by Per Una with a nice row of buttons and cut on the bias in pastel shades?
There must be millions of pairs of scrubs owned by the NHS and so would it really be impossible to have a few more choices in sizes? Even just a tall and short version of each size would be a start.
But wait a mo’, M&S also sell bed linen; perhaps we could have sheets big enough to fit the beds and allow the return of hospital corners?
This set me thinking about the whole topic of someone external to the NHS, a very large public organisation, being brought in to “fix” failing trusts.
The Sky News website state’s Sir Stuart is “to become a top health advisor”, although it’s not immediately obvious where he gained this expertise in healthcare. Sir Stuart, I discover, is an advisor to the Bridgepoint private equity group which, according to their website, acquired Care UK in 2010 for €480m; are Care UK not one of the companies looking to secure a large chunk of the NHS business? And as a colleague reminded me, another external expert brought in to “sort out” a large national enterprise was Dr. Richard Beeching, moving from ICI to British Railways and then subsequently closing lines with no regard of the cost to local communities.
But I think the bit that annoys me most is the description of “failing”.
I consider myself to be fairly resilient to pressure from others, but I know from experience at school that when I’m told I’m a failure then that is what I become. Positive motivation has always been more effective; if you tell people they are “Super Stars”, doing a great job, in difficult times and saving lives, then my experience is people stepping up to the mark and doing those exact things.
Which, kind-of, leads back to my initial point. It’s the small things that help give you pride in who you are and make you feel valued; like having scrubs that vaguely fit and don’t make you feel like you have been dressed from the dressing-up basket.
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.