Thursday, August 5, 2010

Doing a job properly

I take pride in my work, I try not to let my employer down and I abide by the necessary rules, regulations and laws that apply to various aspects of my job. The company monitor what I get up too, to a certain extent and there are policies in place to deal with any problems encountered whilst doing my job. Still, a lot of what I do is covered by trust, my manager can't be everywhere, but because of trust he knows that the job will get done to a satisfactory (at least) standard. However were I not to do the job properly and my actions lead to someone being killed or injured, I'd expect to get more than just a slap on the wrist. A possible prison sentence for criminal neglect could possibly be the least of my problems. I'd imagine that the same rules apply to other people in other jobs, right?



A total of 15 nurses have been suspended for failing to improve standards at a hospital where as many as 1,200 patients died due to "appalling standards of care". 

But campaigners fear many more could have escaped censure, after a catalogue of failings at Stafford and Cannock Chase hospitals.
The nurses have all been suspended at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust in the last six months, the magazine Nursing Standard discovered. 
In March last year a report by the now-disbanded Healthcare Commission found that patients were left for hours in soiled bedclothes, while some were left without food and water, leaving a few reportedly to resort to drinking from nearby vases.
Attitudes of staff were at times "uncaring'' but managers were "in denial" of the problems, it concluded.
Sir Bruce Keogh, the medical director of the NHS, described the episode as a "gross and terrible breach of trust".
Julie Bailey, who runs Cure the NHS, which campaigns to improve nursing standards in the wake of the scandal, welcomed news of the suspensions.
"Eighteen months we have been battling for this, and it's only happened because we pushed the Nursing and Midwifery Council to do something about it," she said.
Ms Bailey, whose 86-year-old mother Bella died at Stafford Hospital in 2007, claimed there were more than 15 nurses who should be investigated.
The 15 were identified by combing through an independent inquiry chaired by Robert Francis, QC, she believed.
"It is just targeting a few nurses mentioned in the Robert Francis report," she said.
"We would like them to go through our 180 complaints, that we presented to [former health secretary] Andy Burnham, to identify individual members of staff for the abuse they caused to our relatives."
Mr Francis's report found 18 of the 22 board members who ran the trust over the period under investigation had left their roles.
Only one manager has been disciplined. Kate Levy, the board's head of legal services, was sacked for allegedly suppressing details of a misdiagnosis of a patient who died, John Moore-Robinson, 20. She plans to appeal.
Colin Ovington, the trust's director of nursing and midwifery, said it was unable to comment on why staff had been suspended for confidentiality reasons.
However, he said the "overall trend" of suspensions over the past six months was "slightly upwards". He said this was "further evidence that we are dealing quickly with any examples of poor care or unacceptable behaviour".
Seems like the healthcare industry allows you to get away with manslaughter through neglect with just a suspension. They are also using confidentiality as an excuse to cover their tracks as well though that's common enough excuse in any managerial situation where covering your own back is common enough to prevent an investigation of just exactly where you fitted into the situation. Not the first time this has happened in hospitals either, in my own neck of the woods the superbug scandal at Maidstone Hospital got a lot of headlines, but eventually those responsible didn't go to prison, some ended up with compensation payments in the crazy world of public health.
It would be nice to live in a country where cause and effect has direct consequences, but unfortunately all the rules, regulations both at local, national and international levels often give the guilty a get out of jail free card, complete with pass go and collect £200 compensation. Nor can I see any chance of the main 3 political parties sorting this out, they were responsible for many of the rules anyway and for abdicating responsibility to the EU when they weren't. It would be nice to think that anyone whose actions caused the death of someone through not doing their job properly would end up with more than a suspension, but that's the world the political classes seem to have created for us, still come the revolution...

3 annotations:

James Higham said...

If there was ever an argument against socialism this is it.

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

No, no, James, criminal negligence only occurs in the greedy private sector.

This is merely a breakdown in communications and procedures have been put in place to prevent a recurrence. And it's because the public sector is cash-strapped, and the employees (dedicated to the service of the public) are overworked. So you must pay more tax.

Anonymous said...

Just read Militant Medical Nurses blog to get a real idea of nursing today !