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Fouled beds, lack of education, poor support for front line workers, reduction in continence care. Where is it going wrong?

“The NHS changes will not affect front line workers” Said the Prime Minister.

We believe it is a rather naïve approach to belief that senior managers in the NHS will not cut or change the staff employed in care to address the economic pressures they are under.

The reduction in the budgets led us to believe that savings were essential in the long term. However the knee jerk reaction of local authorities resulted in the reduction of many staff. The changes and goals were “too much too quick “.

The press has been full of incontinence issues recently. Mothers and fathers not getting correct care, relatives finding loved ones in beds of urine and faeces, older people not receiving products to allow them some dignity. If we did not know better it reads like a Dickens story of old work houses. Florence Nightingale even tried to give patients some dignity and prevent the basic problems occurring such as malnutrition and dehydration.

Where has it all gone so wrong?

We understand the demands on the health services but not every patient requires an expensive treatment, some require basic nursing care. The demise of the enrolled nurse worried many of us long enough in employment, to realize who would be left to “nurse” the patient’s .The introduction of the degree nurses were seen as the way forward to a more academically qualified profession. These nurses arrived on the wards with a lot of knowledge but found it difficult to put it into practice .We believe the nursing profession requires a combination of specialists and those with highly complex skills as well as the nurse who can carry out the essential necessities of caring for the patient ,such as toileting and feeding.

Present perceived concerns are two fold,

1. Why are senior clinical specialists systematically being downgraded or their jobs being changed into pure management roles? Who is the role model being left to carry out the clinical supervision of junior staff, as so often quoted the clinical leader?

2. Who will carry out the” trained skills “around basic health requirements if NVQ levels vanish? The feeding and washing ,the mouth care .The toileting care and fluid intake required to ensure dehydration, constipation and pressure sores do not occur
Bladder and Bowel care are fundamental to good care; they are the barometer of how the patient is responding to treatments and management.

Education and training has sadly been the first thing to vanish. The reduction of front line staff across all disciplines has further led to staff being unable to access training due to these shortages.

ARC Healthcare, having recently launched an on line journal free to all front line workers offering them a chance to interact with other professionals and read practical articles has seen an increase in their web site activity.

This highlights the need of these staff for knowledge to improve the quality of care for whom they care for with dignity and respect.

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Contact : Trevor Pile :- Managing Partner - Director of Sales & Marketing

About ARC Healthcare Management Consultants.

Arc Healthcare is a unique quality provider of health education and management from clinical nurse specialist practising within the UK.

Arc Healthcare was one of the first providers in the UK to specialize in all aspects of bladder and bowel care, from both a clinical and managerial perspective.

Arc Healthcare aims are to ensure quality educational sessions are provided to all areas affiliated to this speciality both within the NHS and Private sectors. In addition to clinical knowledge ARC Healthcare offers providers of care expert managerial support in developing quality services, benchmark existing services and assisting with addressing local and National objectives in a proactive innovative ways.

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