Sunday, October 14, 2007

Superbug hospital chief given £250,000 to quit

Superbug hospital chief given £250,000 to quit | Health |

It does not make sense to give a golden handshake to a hospital executive who did nothing to prevent the superbug scandal. The conditions in the Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone hospitals were appalling and yet, the NHS trust did nothing to prevent the infection from spreading. Why did it take more than 90 deaths before there was an investigation?

What has been emerging in the reports that I have been reading from at least 3 sources on the extent of this scandal in a number of hospitals in the UK is that the spread of this bug was both preventable and avoidable. The conditions that the patients were forced to endure were shocking. Most of the stories that I have seen on this subject relate to elderly patients who had to be in hospital for a variety of reasons. They were in a weakened condition because of some other illness, and the neglect that they endured at the hands of the nursing staff is so shocking that there really needs to be a thorough shakeup of the hospital system.

The NHS should not be allowed to indulge in the blame game. The excuse of staff shortage is not good enough. Nurses need to be placed on the wards to do the jobs that have always been the lot of nurses. If they do not want to perform the most dirty jobs in an efficient manner then they do not belong in a nursing career. There is a need to have nursing assistants for certain jobs and there needs to be an overhaul with regards to the required standard levels of cleanliness. All hospitals need to be accredited at least once a year to show that they meet higher than the minimum standards of cleanliness. Let the matrons get on with the job of running the hospital wards like in the old days. The nurses in charge of the wards need to be senior sisters who are qualified not just in educational standards but in the level of their efficiency on the wards. It should be the responsibility of the sister in charge of the ward to ensure that the patients are given a high level of nursing care, including ensuring that no patient is left to soil his or her own clothing, or be forced to sit in a soiled bed. If any NHS hospital cannot meet that minimum standard then it should be forced either reform or shut down.

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