Poor ward care is harming patients, warns a senior doctor in this week’s BMJ.
Recent figures show that three of the four commonest causes of delayed discharge are associated with inadequate care //on the ward: pressure sores, healthcare acquired infections, and medication errors.
This crisis is the result of lack of trained staff, lack of continuity of care, and poor leadership, and it is directly harming patients, argues consultant anaesthetist, Katherine Teale.
Common complaints include never seeing a nurse except when drugs are being handed out, days going by without any contact with senior medical staff, having to virtually beg for help moving up the bed or getting to the toilet, and repeated requests for pain relief.
It’s these experiences, and not the skilful surgery, that patients remember and tell their friends about. And it’s these that make patients, especially elderly patients, dread being in hospital, she says.
It’s easy to blame the nurses, but we doctors have to take our share of the responsibility, she adds. If the senior medical staff are rarely on the ward seeing what goes on, if they don’t act as role models for their trainees, and don’t make themselves available to support the nursing team then patient care suffers.
Ward care is just as important as complex surgery – and can be just as difficult – but unfortunately it is not so glamorous, nor is it appreciated by peers. This is tragic, not only for the patients but also for the future of the hospital.
'It’s madness to spend thousands of pounds on fancy surgery if the patients are then allowed to develop avoidable complications,' she concludes.
SRM Page: 1 Related medicine news :1
. Vitamins Harming, not Helping, the Heart2
. Self Harming Teenagers on the Rise in Britain3
. One in Three Heart Attack Patients Have No Chest Pains
. Amphetamines Help Recovery of Stroke Patients
. Painkillers Do Not Shorten Dying Patients Lives
. Patients With Filariasis More Prone To HIV Infection7
. Glivec - New Hope For CMC Patients8
. Patients often assume wrongly that they are allergic to penicillin9
. New FDA Approved Drug NATRECOR For Heart Failure Patients10
. Hemochromatosis Patients Blood is Safe 11
. Patients Pressure Would Result In Overprescription