EBME Forums
Posted By: Steve Edge The public perception of the NHS - 03/10/00 8:27 PM
I would like your experiences of what you believe the public think of their/our NHS. I now experience the NHS from a nursing point of view (my wife). I am gobsmacked at how the public treat the staff. I estimate 50% of ward visitors (patients, family and friends) are either rude or simply abusive to the staff. What experiences do you know of. The stories I know make me believe the public do not deserve the NHS and all it's dedicated staff.
Posted By: John Sandham Re: The public perception of the NHS - 04/10/00 9:12 PM
Hello Steve
The incidence of abuse from visitors here at PAH is not high. We are a smaller Hospital outside the M25 and I think that location, size, and management of the Hospital all play a part in the publics perception. I think where there are problems, they become worse if they are not adressed by senior management. Unfortunately there are many people in management posts not fit to do their job. That may be the starting point.
Posted By: Huw Re: The public perception of the NHS - 04/10/00 9:41 PM
Sorry - but I interpreted Steves message differently. The drunken &%&*(!¨ that show up in A&E on Fri & Sat nights and scream abuse at porters, nurses and other staff need a damn good (legal) slapping! Even when not drunk the abuse level is high. (Some) People think that due to the fact that they have always had the NHS they are entitled to treat the staff like dirt! My Mum & sister were/are nurses and I've heard it all. I especially love the 'bums' who have never worked complaining that their taxes pay for the NHS! - sorry 'bout the whine-ing - my jackboots are a bit tight... - or are they?
Posted By: JIM GAVIN Re: The public perception of the NHS - 04/01/01 4:42 PM
STEVE

YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC NOW.

I WORK FOR THE NHS

SO BUGGER OFF!+%$£$

CHEERS STEVE, SEE YOU SOON
Posted By: Caroline Finlay Re: The public perception of the NHS - 09/01/01 11:28 AM
Try working at a London Hospital where the security staff outnumber the patients. Did anyone see the Cutting Edge programme which followed the security staff here over a 24 hour period ? I think it was a true relection of the drug culture in London. Having said that the staff here are probably more secure than some that work in the leafy suburbs as at least there is a security team !
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: The public perception of the NHS - 20/05/06 9:22 AM
Anybody fancy adding to this one five years on? smile
Posted By: John Sandham Re: The public perception of the NHS - 25/05/06 10:08 AM
Hello Geoff,

I have seen the NHS improve. I visit many Hospitals and the NHS has improved tremendously, and EBME departments have also improved. smile

John.
Posted By: les Re: The public perception of the NHS - 25/05/06 2:01 PM
WHICH HOSPITALS HAVE YOU VISITED JOHN, THEY CAN'T BE THE SAME AS ME
Posted By: RoJo Re: The public perception of the NHS - 25/05/06 2:31 PM
They were the same ones that Patricia Hewitt visited. laugh
Robert
Posted By: Chris-H Re: The public perception of the NHS - 25/05/06 2:33 PM
Quote:
I have seen the NHS improve. I visit many Hospitals and the NHS has improved tremendously, and EBME departments have also improved
Somebody wake him up! He's gotta be in a trance SURELY ! confused
Posted By: David R Re: The public perception of the NHS - 25/05/06 3:04 PM
16 years ago I worked in sales, and visited every major DGH in England, Scotland and Wales. Whilst I may no longer be as well travelled, I have seen major improvements in infrastructure and technology.

It is true that the level of care we can now give our patients is significantly higher than it was 16 years ago, for example, just look at the number of CT/MRI scanners now available compared to 1990, modern drugs ,our capabilities with transplants, keyhole surgery meaning short/no stay operations, air-ambulances (yes I know the majority are funded by charitable donations), fast response paramedics etc.

But we must recognise that the NHS is now facing major new challenges - public expectations are now higher than they have ever been and with technological advances - they expect every little advance to be available to them, lifespans are increasing meaning there are more eldery requiring care (joint replacements, personal care, cancers have had time to develop), a litigatious society willing to screw you for the slightest mistake, drug resistant infections, a highly aggressive media to name but a few.

Some of the old problems are still there - high workloads, lack of end-of-life plans for routine equipment leading to frequent breakdowns, the unpleasant patient/visitor, lack of adequate space/resources.

I may not agree with some of the decisions made by senior management or politicians, but the NHS is now significantly different from when it was founded. The NHS is not perfect, and probably never will be, but that doesn't mean it is not staffed by dedicated, highly skilled individuals doing their best with limited resources.

Comeon guys and gals ... lets pull together and make this ship float - not sink!
Posted By: John Sandham Re: The public perception of the NHS - 25/05/06 10:01 PM
Rob, Les,
I work mainly at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, I have also worked for the staffordshire procurement hub, Beford NHS Trust, Hillingdon NHS Trust, Chase Farm Hospital, Barnet NHS Trust, etc, etc. I get around in a senior management role. My perception is that the NHS is improving based on real facts. Emotion does not need to come into it. Most of the people i meet are dedicated to providing quality services for patient care and we should all take that approach. I am proud of the NHS - It is good - and improving. There is plenty of evidence to show that to be true. If anyone feels that they are not proud to work for the NHS, they should work elsewhere. In my opinion.....

John.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: The public perception of the NHS - 26/05/06 12:09 PM
My goodness, you worked in some good ones there, Mate! Although it might be looking rosy from where you stand, John, things might not be so wonderful down in the trenches these days. Probably varies a bit from location to location, though, I would have to admit. smile
Posted By: Chris-H Re: The public perception of the NHS - 26/05/06 1:47 PM
Quote:
The NHS is not perfect, and probably never will be, but that doesn't mean it is not staffed by dedicated, highly skilled individuals doing their best with limited resources.
Comeon guys and gals ... lets pull together and make this ship float - not sink!
Too right David, however when you have been in the profession as long as I, you become a little dossillusioned by the (apparent signs of progress) when you witness firsthanded the extreme amounts of unnecessary wastage "In the name of progress"
Admittedly, staff will continue to do what they can with the limited resources.
However, what do you do when you have ABSOLUTELY NO RESOURCES at your dissposal, you become a little bitter when the rug is taken from underneath your feet.
I agree, all NHS staff should pull together, and I have no doubt that they do under most circumstances, but if the iceberg has already been hit, no amount of effort will result in the ship continuing to sail! mad
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: The public perception of the NHS - 27/05/06 9:41 AM
Come on, me hearties - we may not be able to direct the wind, but we can trim the sails! smile
Posted By: Chris-H Re: The public perception of the NHS - 28/05/06 11:25 PM
Quote:
we may not be able to direct the wind,
but we are able to stop eating eggs & beans for brekfast? laugh
Posted By: Kawasaki Re: The public perception of the NHS - 30/05/06 9:49 AM
Has the NHS improved? Almost certainly with regard to technological advances with regard to patient treatment.
But has it ipmproved with regard to efficiency? Very debatable.
The government has increased the funding available for the NHS, but has appointed more managers to oversee the allocation and use of resources than you can shake a stick at. Is this an efficient use of resources?
If the NHS was run in the same way that a company is, would there be major changes?
I think that each employee of the NHS should be asked the question "does your job directly contribute to patient care?" If not can they justify their job?
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: The public perception of the NHS - 30/05/06 9:52 AM
Back on topic? Yes, but beggars canít be choosers in NHS hospital restaurants (should that be canteens?) Ö especially true at your location I would have to say, Chris! smile
Posted By: John Sandham Re: The public perception of the NHS - 31/05/06 8:50 AM
Resources are always an issue and EBME departments seem to be at the back of the queue when they are being dished out.

Getting resources allocated is difficult but not impossible. If you can clearly present your proposal showing benefits versus investment the decision is normally 'for' investment. If the decision is 'against' maybe the decision is not going to the right management forum/level in the organisation.

It is frustrating and slow to change - a bit like trying to turn an oil tanker around quickly. It is impossible to turn it around quickly, but it can be turned around. It took me a long time to get the resources I needed for our EBME dept, but we got what we wanted eventually - The slow transformation and investment was very annoying for the staff having to work under tremendous pressure and sometimes wondering if anything would improve, but it has.
Posted By: Geoff Hannis Re: The public perception of the NHS - 08/04/07 8:30 AM
Here's some good news (?). Makes me wonder why guys on this forum keep on about cutting costs, whilst this sort of thing still goes on! frown
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