As I sit here waiting for the children to come out of school I’m browsing Facebook and I stumble upon an article which states: ‘the numbers of nurses and health visitors fall for the first time in four years’.
As I say in my bio – I’m a paediatric nurse turned health visitor. My best friends and I started our nurse training 22 years ago (we were all aghast at this realisation!) and have been qualified for 20 years next year. The majority of my nursing career was spent on Paediatric Intensive Care. It was a job that I loved. It was a challenging job in so many ways. It was hard physical work. During winter, the unit would be full day & night, when a bed became empty there was another poorly child lined up for it.
We worked 12 and a half hour shifts which started at either 7.30am or 7.30pm. The day would start with a brief rundown of all the patients on the unit and the nurse in charge of the new shift would allocated each nurse to a patient, if we were lucky. Some days we’d be understaffed and there would be a nurse for two patients. I loved the unit I worked on because the team spirit was very much alive. When the sh*t hit the fan we all pitched in, working like clockwork to revive and maintain children’s lives, to ensure a family didn’t lose their most precious people. Sometimes we were successful and sometimes sadly we weren’t. Every nurse I worked with was dedicated to these little lives and to their families who had entrusted their lives with. So much so that meal and toilet breaks would take a back seat in order that we did our utmost to care for the children.
This is not an unusual scenario in nursing AT ALL. Walk onto any ward or department in our amazing NHS hospitals and you will see it for yourself. The dedication of the staff can be seen in the staff that arrive for their shift, don’t take their breaks and finish late because well, you can’t ‘shut down’ the patient in front of you who needs your care like you can a laptop at the end of the day. BUT these wonderful people are being pushed to the absolute limit, they’re understaffed and working in an under resourced ‘company’ (the NHS). They desperately want to provide the very best of care to their patients, because they are the most dedicated and compassionate of people. Nobody who walks through those doors wants to put their patients lives at risk, not one of them to ants to provide suboptimal care and THIS is why staff are leaving in their droves. They have been pushed too much, they’ve been pushed to the brink and can long continue.
Hospitals are being MADE to fail because of lack of resources. Services are being cut left right and centre. This includes health visiting services. Various areas have no health visitor service at all as they have been scrapped. You see health visitors don’t just weigh babies, we support the most vulnerable of families during some of the most challenging of times. There are so so many vulnerable children and families out there. By demolishing the health visiting service you increase the vulnerability of these families. The need doesn’t go any where, the need still exists – in fact the need will increase because these children and families are not getting the support when they desperately need it which will put more children at risk. And so if this is about money, which it undoubtedly is, the cost will be greater as the need is greater.
I’m so so sad for our wonderful NHS, the life is being snuffed out of it taking the wonderful staff with it.
#nhs #saveournhs #nurse #healthvisitor