Sunday, 9 December 2012
Buzz words don't lead to better care
’Nurses who fail to demonstrate compassionate care are betraying the values of their profession’, according to the Chief Nursing Officer for England’
Compassionate is not a verb. You can’t order a nurse to be compassionate. Compassion is a reaction to seeing someone who is vulnerable, suffering, unable to help themselves. A compassionate response would be a desire to help them.
But no directive is going to make that happen.
In 2001 we had the Department of Health’s Social Care Institute for Excellence which intended to improve social care in England. The word excellence of course made their results excellent. Not.
We also had the Dignity in Care campaign launched by the Department of Health in 2006. Well, that worked well! Now we have The Royal College of Nursing telling the nurses to be compassionate. They think that by using more meaningful words they will deliver more meaningful care.
Every year seems to be another year of magical thinking.
According to the Royal College of Nursing Since the coalition came to power in May 2010, the NHS workforce in England has decreased by 28,500 posts, and a further 32,700 jobs are at risk.
The number of qualified nurses working for the health service reduced by more than 6,000.( http://www.channel4.com/news/nurses-must-deliver-compassionate-care)
There seems to be a belief that it is possible to ignore the reduction in staffing levels, the increase in bed occupancy, and the looming explosion of our ageing population heading towards the end of their lives, and that it will be enough to periodically sprinkle a few flowery adjectives to describe the new model of care, and hey presto the care will improve as if by magic.
The reality is that the par between the real and the intended care just gets bigger and bigger, and the Government’s Department of Health and the Royal College of Nursing’s mission statements look more and more like a feeble marriage vow taken moments before the groom runs off with the bridesmaid.