Monday, December 24, 2012

Season's Greetings

Couldn't resist taking a photo of a local landmark. A witty resident has installed this in his garden as homage to his less than chirpy next door neighbour. The addition of the Santa hat has made me laugh each day I have passed it with the dog.

Also my fascination with lichen continues - I came across this one with stalks on my Christmas Eve tramp with Fudge - better light would make for better photos - I will be back to capture them in sunshine (if we get any).

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Other blogs to inspire

It is near the Winter Solstice and I look forward to the days growing longer, albeit slowly and in the beginning imperceptibly.

In the meantime here are some blogs I find inspiring and food for thought:-

 Brene Brown

Also a reminder that Small Stones do make a difference and I got through last January thanks to that daily practice and I intend to do the same in 2013 and in fact have already started...

Friday, December 14, 2012

No change there, then

A few months ago I started subscribing to Roy Lilley's NHS Manager's newsletters. Insightful and critical I have enjoyed being stimulated by the debates he raises.
In response to his missive today I wrote to him and this is the gist of it....

20 years ago (yes 20!!!). I had a post as a Strategy Adviser for the local Health Authority – first of the new wave of commissioning jobs (funded by the pharmaceutical industry) set to redesign and build capacity in an over stretched and under performing service. Guess what – as a nurse I was marginalised, bullied and ignored. I wrote a strategy that the Public health team felt was “too innovative and radical” (it wasn’t but it did suggest that patients & families (we didn't call them service users then) might have a say in where and when they received their care) and the consultants felt threatened by a bright and innovative nurse. I am still angry about that job as it promised much but in the end I helped out in clinics and GP surgeries so I felt I was doing something to contribute to the service delivery. I still don’t think commissioners have any leverage on dyed in the wool technocrats who deliver services they way they always have cos that is comfortable and cosy. Sitting in clinic rooms behind a closed door helps protect you from the grim realities of living with  long term conditions, the employment issues, the housing conundrums and just the getting on with life issues that people face on a daily basis when they have less than £20. 000 to live on. Not enough bright and innovative practitioners are heard as it is threatening to hear service improvement/redesign ideas from “lesser mortals”....

I also wrote an essay about the challenges facing the NHS back in 1985 when a DN student in London reflecting  the issues around GP contracts, NHS Consultants and private work. There are so many anomalies in employment, procurement etc in the NHS it is truly baffling BUT not theoretical physics, or biochemistry – it is not difficult to get your head round, what could and should happen, it is just that the powerful professions won’t and can’t let go.

Politicians tinker at the edges and we have had a series of Health Secretaries that are worse than useless and one that has been ideologically unsound.
God help the NHS - if you want to read some challenging stuff then subscribe to Roy's newsletter.

Monday, December 10, 2012

What on earth is going on?

I am appalled and saddened by what has happened over the last week in health care environs.

The Chief Nursing Officer launches her initiative about care and compassion in nursing and it is not universally embraced. Nurses aren’t to blame for all the woes - once upon a time nurses ran the wards with authority and high standards. We were terrified to leave people without a wash, without a drink and without privacy and dignity. Sister would be at your side before you knew what had happened – the NHS is too busy and under resourced.

On Saturday the lady next to me in the choir collapsed at the end of our Christmas Concert. My immediate response was to keep her safe and also to make sure she was surrounded by fellow choir members so she was not on show to the audience. Fainting is one thing being gawped at another!! I am not sure it was my 30+ years of nursing that ensured I did this - it is just a basic human concern. My daughter has it and she is only 11!!

I am also saddened by what happened in London last week with the Duchess of Cambridge and the nurse who was so despairing after disclosing information she committed suicide. For God sake what is Society all about when an "innocent and silly idea” backfires badly and a professional feels so personally responsible she ends her life.  What about her managers, her colleagues - the DJs are receiving counselling - why was she not supported - disgraceful indictment of managers. Why don’t people think through the consequences of pranks and hoaxes – we don’t care enough about each other across society – it’s not just nurses.

Get it right before more this happens again!! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Worth a look

Having lots of conversations about projects for next year and although low on energy feel quite excited about the prospects of working with artists not academics.
However I also feel I have a number of issues I want to write about and get out there for discussion and debate - like :-
1. Art and well being - what are the issues?
2. Living with long term conditions - coping with uncertainty.
3. Closing the gap - helping communication between people with long term conditions and their health care professionals.

Also interested in this blog as well - interesting times for academia!!