A report today (bbc.co.uk, December, 10, 2015) tells of the government being “profoundly shocked” by a report which said the NHS failed to investigate the unexpected deaths of more than 1,000 people. Mr. Hunt, the health secretary, said this was “totally unacceptable”. The report concerned Southern Health, one of the UK’s largest mental health trusts. Between April 2011 and March 2015 10,306 people had died in their care, with 1,454 not being expected. 272 were treated as critical incidents, of which only 195 were treated as a serious incident requiring investigation (SIRI). The report follows the death of a young man who had an epileptic seizure when in a bath. his mother commented: “I can’t express how shocked we were, we had no idea at the level of disregard and disinterest that Southern Health were demonstrating towards a group of their patients … Scrutiny should be put on other trusts across the country to see if this is common practice, you know, it’s absolutely barbaric“.
This report eas discussed last night on the BBC Newsnight programme, which showed senior managers of Southern Health sitting around a table which was stacked with tiers of buns.
Management is to be the scapegoat.
It is all their fault.
Get rid of management and it will all be fixed.
THIS IS LIKE SAYING REPLACE THE DRIVER OF A JUNK CAR WITH A NEW ONE AND ALL THE FAULTS UNDER THE BONNET WILL BE FIXED.
Where is the individual responsibility in all this of hands-on nursing staff?
Stephanie Reid (chron.com) outlined individual responsibilty as a cornerstone of nursing:
‘Professional responsibility as applied to nurses refers to the ethical and moral obligations permeating the nursing profession. These standards relate to patient care, collaboration with other medical professionals, integrity, (and) morals’.
‘The best interests of the patient are pre-eminent above any other concern or bias held by the nurse’.
‘The nurse has a duty to advocate for her patients.’
‘At all times, nurses have the professional duty to accept personal responsibility for their actions and are accountable for nursing judgment and action or inaction. This accountability extends to situations in which the nurse delegates duties to a colleague or subordinate’.
‘The nurse has a duty of self-respect and morality to herself as well as those around her, including patients’.
‘Nurses have a responsibility to maintain open and constant discourse with colleagues about ethical issues’.
In my younger days, if I thought that hospital policy, or an instruction from a more senior nurse, was likely to be harmful to a patient’s wellbeing, I had no hesitation in telling my ‘superiors’ where to stuff their policy or instruction. I believed that: ‘The nurse has a duty to advocate for (their) patients’, without fearing the inevitable reprisal.
I still believe this, but fear many nursing staff do not. They have one eye on their ‘career’ and mortgage, if not both.
I ask on behalf of 1,454 dead human beings that any inquiry involves a thorough investigation of all staff involved at a hands-on level.
Who was on shift that week?
What were their actions?
Where there individual failings, by commision or ommision, that could have prevented any death?
Have nursing notes and duty rostas gone mysteriously missing?
Will the NMC investigate the actions or inactions of any nurse working at Southern Health who was involved in the care of a human being whose death was unexpected? likewise, the RCN?
IT IS SIMPLY NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO BLAME THE GENERALS AND NOT THE TROOPS.
THE TROOPS OF NURSING ARE MORALLY OBLIGED TO PROTECT THEIR PATIENTS AND INFORM THE WORLD IF THEIR COMMANDERS DO NOT.
Look under the bonnet, do not just replace the driver.
lenin nightingale 2015