Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Waiting lists

Why do we have waiting lists where we have to cut 8000 people in order to keep them looking nice?
Usually there is just unfocused rage when we hear these statistics - somthing about mismanagement comes to mind or possibly underfunding. But I’m not sure either can really explain the issue.
The key factor seems to be
1) a shortage of nurses
2) a shortage of specialists
Now there are four ways that can become a problem
1) you aren’t training/retaining enough
3) your system keeps demanding more of them
3) your system wastes resources

In my experience 2 is one of the most ignored and significant of these. For example if you say (for health reasons) that you must have two nurses to help a patient out of bed then you halve the amount of patients you can help. If you give nurses or doctors a lot of paperwork you reduce the amount of work they can do.
One key aspect is the removal of the 18 month nursing courses so nurses without the inclination to tackle a full nursing course (which is getting much hardy by the way) don’t have an easy entry into the work force, and more well trained nurses are likely to be doing work that underuses their skills. take practice nurses who are only hired as glorified receptionists for GP's because of legislative advantages.
Yes each of these policies have health benefits but they also have costs, costs that are generally hidden and often considerable.

This is rather like pharmac choosing to fund an expensive cancer drug. it is god in theory but the money has to come from somewhere. you see the happy cancer sufferers whose chances are now slightly higher but you don’t see other people dying of other diseases who are paying the price.


Blogger Nurse Jenny said...

Lets help the nurses.

A hospital executive would feel more comfortable contracting a nurses from an agency dedicated to temporary medical staffing than from a one-stop-shop that also places welders, janitors and filing clerks.

Try to visit this site Starting a nursing agency its a nursing guide.. And its a solution to the nursing shortage crisis. Lets stop the nursing shortage crisis!

10:47 PM  

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