Aspects of poor nursing care have been well documented concerning care home and hospitals  in the UK , Australia and USA (Vladeck 1989, Robb 1967, Newton). Involving neglect of pressure care and failure to feed patients. Whilst good care does exist, poor care continues .

Why is this so? Nursing is a caring profession surely? Or has it been overtaken by the Darwin principle of survival of the fittest? It depends what “fit “ means; does it mean the most caring or the one who gains the most accolades for the best attendance at work or adherence to the manager’s requests? Is anybody who dares to question or raise issues, blocked? Consider Haywood who raised issues in UK but went to press as no satisfaction with internal management. She was removed from register but reinstated following an appeal.

There is also the business orientation of universities in many countries (Popenici 2012) which has implications for the award of registration to students. Is there an emphasis on passing assignments ? It is possible. There are also implications of society at large. Of how much a priority is care? The Government here in the UK has chosen to focus upon the issue of poor care following numerous newspaper reports. Yet sadly, the occurrence of poor care was highlighted many years before in many countries.

Does poor care continue because all nurses have different priorities? Does it depend upon how nurses are educated? In the UK all nurses are now educated at degree level. Yet what the degree consists of, is open to interpretation by different universities. In all countries, we have care assistants largely delivering what once was the nurses role. Training now in the England, is based on Skills for Care but even that is open to interpretation. Prior their training differed in each hospital or care home. In all 3 countries, care assistants do not have to be registered. This means they are free to work elsewhere if they do anything wrong. Unless a good manager tells the truth. Students too are implicated. Some research does indicate that students are afraid to raise issues  due to conformity but it is  a small study(Levett-Jones, Lathlean 2009  ). Is it the same in the USA or Australia? The difference in healthcare fields is also a factor. Nursing homes/ hospitals do differ in USA to the UK.

Such factors are addressed within the book “The Commodity of Care”, Choir Press due out July.

A large conclusion which surprised myself, is the political influence (neoliberalism) upon care and how issues extend way way beyond the staff at the side of the patient.

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One Comment

  1. rotzeichen says:

    Speaking from personal anecdotal experience, my Mother In Law who suffered many small strokes, the onset of dementia, going deaf and blind and continually falling out of bed, needed round the clock care which the care residents that she loved living in could not provide, we therefore placed her in a care home which had that all round care.

    From then on she refused to eat and drink, until she had deteriorated so far that she had to be admitted to hospital where she died less than a week later.

    I just wonder whether this is more common than care facilities care to admit, the problem is the hospital which was again understaffed and run off their feet, still did the best they could for her. We were called in and were with her when she died, the other small point is in years gone by she would have died in care home and nothing would be said, but now more and more are dying in hospital through lack of care home facilities, it is the hospitals statistics that judge the quality of care and not the reality.

    What we should be demanding are proper state residential facilities with a hospice within the grounds of the residence so that patients could remain as mobile in their environment as is humanly possible. This is not rocket science but you need a compassionate society to bring this about, not a bunch of hypocrites like the Cure the NHS Campaign.

    The last thing people need to understand is that the Banks are dictating what quality of life we deserve, we bailed them out £375 billions of Quantitative Easing (money printing) which proves if we can give private Banks free money, we can do the same for our public services.

    Again it is not rocket science but down to peoples ignorance.

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