Yesterday was quite a stressful day as my daughter was an emergency admission to hospital after a serious accident at home and I had to drive over 50 miles to get to the hospital to see her.
On arrival at the hospital I managed to find a parking spot without any trouble and made my way to the ward she was on. The colour coding of routes through the hospital was very helpful and after a long walk I arrived at her ward.
Whilst waiting to see her as she had a dressing changed to the very bad gash on her arm, I noticed a board on the wall of the corridor which apparently was supposed to inform both staff, patients and visitors about the “ward performance.”
As you can see from the photograph I took, the ward performance is divided into 5 categories but unfortunately no one had got around to posting any details. I have to say what a complete and utter waste of time information boards like these are. Why are NHS staff being landed with collecting this kind of information, analysing it and then producing information that is meaningless? Just think of the amount of time spent by both clinical and non-clinical staff in producing “information” that makes the management hierarchy feel good and justifies their high salaries.
I also noted on the wall of the corridor a “service level agreement” with a company called Sodex for the cleaning of hospital wards. I then noticed several staff walking around with Sodex logos on their shirts and blouses, so I assume that the company was “sponsoring” the “uniforms.” It would be inappropriate of me to suggest in any way that winning the contract had anything to do with the “sponsorship.”
Moreover, it has been found time and time again that “contracting out” services often reduces the quality and standard of service, but it seems that organisations never learn.
On leaving the hospital I was charged £3.00 to park for 2 hours and there was a sliding scale up to about £12.00. This is purely an income generation scheme for the hospital and pays no attention to visitors needs, in particular those relatives who visit twice a day for several days. I was under the impression that the government were instructing all hospital trusts to introduce a fairer (reduced price) pricing system!
The NHS is a valuable institution (I know, I spent nearly ten years working in it) but it is these little things that impact upon patients and relatives that make us lose sight of the incredible clinical work they do in saving people’s lives.