Claire Malcomson, our Parliamentary Candidate, is very concerned about the state of the NHS. She spoke to staff at the East Surrey Hospital, who chose not to strike, but still have to deal with all the issues their striking colleagues across the country have. Claire found out more about the problems doctors, nurses and support staff are having.
Speaking to nurses, Claire was shocked to find out that they are so short staffed that patients are being given pads to wear, to relieve themselves in bed when they are in fact able to walk with assistance to the bathroom. Why?...because there are not enough people to help them to go to the toilet. Outraged, Claire said, 'These patients are not incontinent, surely it is a human right to be able to visit a lavatory or at the very least have a commode. This is a shocking example of how under pressure these poor nurses are under.'
Claire was told that another pressure of having to document every minute detail is taking doctors and nurses so long that they have less time for basic care of patients. This is due to ridiculously long IT formatting processes that have been introduced, taking longer than the familiar paper and pen, which many more mature staff prefer.
Most of us are now aware of the problems of discharging 'well' patients due to the lack of social care or support in the community. To help alleviate this a new practice has started - Boarding. Additional beds are being added between existing bed spaces, to already busy wards. This is to accommodate patients who have nowhere to go. However, there are no extra nurses to help, putting even more stress on the existing ones.
More Pay for Carers
Claire said, 'I am very pleased that our leader Ed Davey has announced that the Liberal Democrats will fight for those working in social care to receive higher pay. This will help encourage more carers to join, and existing carers to stay, in this profession, which offers very fulfilling jobs and provides care outside our overcrowded hospitals.
Claire went on to say, 'I have shared information on local Surrey Facebook pages advising patients and visitors that there are long queues to get into the hospital. This is because less parking is available due to two new wards being built on the car park. I have been aggrieved to find out that elderly people, those with crutches and many just not very well, have had to get off their bus etc. and make the long walk from the main road, so as not to miss their long awaited appointment.
'Staff morale is low and health & safety is more at risk. The Government is still not listening to them or discussing how to solve their issues or their low pay. These amazing people are leaving in their droves. We have got to support the NHS and not allow the Conservatives to destroy it.'