So we are back to mixed wards

We have to take charge of what is happening in the NHS – not leave it to Politicians with their eye on a lucrative job at the end of their tenure.  Today comes new that thousands of patients were forced to sleep in mixed wards last year, just when we thought they were closed  

It  was a Dutch Nurse who suggested that the British need to be more pro-active, and tell hospitals what they want – and more important, decide on what the NHS spends its money on.  We need to find out how much is in the kitty, then have a democratic vote on what WE want the money to go to.  NOT what politicians decide on.

Whilst bemoaning the current state of the NHS, she – a very forthright person – said “you have to take charge of your own health”, giving me to understand the Dutch would soon be asking questions of hospital administration if problems occurred.

I could imagine a balloon coming out of her mind, saying “all the English do is complain”., and she is often right..

In the Netherlands, patients are expected to think of the best for everyone – and help the health services.  What she was trying to tell me, very politely, was that the dire straights the NHS is in currently could be improved if we stopped moaning, and did something about things not working properly.

It’s known as PEOPLE POWER

Basically, it’s getting on with alerting the right person/office to a problem, and suggesting a solution that is approved by the majority.

Sample problem solutions

Hence, when I found that Mother would have to wait until 3 AM for hospital transport home, I found that reason was the new contract, just approved by the hospital governors, who obviously knew nothing about patient needs.  When bidding for the contract, the ‘providers’ had promised every patient would receive their own individual transport.


Wellington Free Ambulance Patient Transfer Car...In theory, a lovely idea.  In reality. the company was able to charge for a 24 hour service, instead of putting several patients into the same vehicle – so they were going to make more money and patients would have longer to in a dreary transport lounge. But a lovely increase in revenue for the ‘Providing company’.

A few judicious emails later, the Governors saw sense.  But it does prove they shouldn’t interfere in things of which they know nothing!  It’s up to patients who DO know to make sure contracts go to the right companies.  Instead of self-important Governors deciding who gets a contract, what about when a contract is due for renewal, asking a few patients who work in that industry to cast their eyes over a contract.  I used to work in transport and it took me 10 minutes to find why Ma couldn’t get a lift home.  And 5 minutes to sort this out with the drivers – although the transport company didn’t like the loss of revenue.

Hospital Governors

Theoretically, most hospitals have Governors, and when a contract is about to be awarded to a private contractor, several of these are appointed to evaluate the different bids.  Hence this hospitals’ Governors had looked over the paperwork – thought how wonderful that every patient would have their OWN transport – and not looked at the consequences.

Letting amateurs decide where contracts are awarded is a recipe for disaster – as we can see all over the NHS.

So if you KNOW something is wrong, let the hospital know.  Don’t just complain to the Receptionist or Nurses – they don’t have any say in the matter.  If you ave expertise in transnport, catering, maintenance, IT etc. offer your services to the hospital.  They would be fools to refuse. 

Incidentally maintenance contracts in hospitals definitely could do with sorting out – I wonder how much goes to maintain lifts, provide food,  cleaning services, etc. 






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