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Planet Rachael: could this be the year of the ‘lovely’ nurse?

Staff attitudes and behaviour are an aspect of care that fails to meet expectations and yet it is such an easy thing to fix, says Wendy Johnson
Happy LD nurses

Staff attitudes and behaviour are an aspect of care that fails to meet expectations and yet it is such an easy thing to fix, says Wendy Johnson

Im feeling rather grumpy. Not sure if its the election result or the national lack of hormone replacement therapy.

I feel a bit like Rachael did when she was nine and was presented with a card from her nana who said the money that would have been spent on her for a birthday present had instead been donated to a village in the subcontinent in the guise of a flock of geese. Ill never forget her face a goose well and truly cooked.

Last year started so well with the introduction of the NHS Improvement

...

Staff attitudes and behaviour are an aspect of care that fails to meet expectations and yet it is such an easy thing to fix, says Wendy Johnson


Picture: iStockphoto

I’m feeling rather grumpy. Not sure if it’s the election result or the national lack of hormone replacement therapy.

I feel a bit like Rachael did when she was nine and was presented with a card from her nana who said the money that would have been spent on her for a birthday present had instead been donated to a village in the subcontinent in the guise of a flock of geese. I’ll never forget her face – a goose well and truly cooked.

Last year started so well with the introduction of the NHS Improvement standards. I wrote at the time that it had the potential to be a game changer as a lever for change for people with learning disabilities and their families. Then I read about the Transforming Care programme, human rights, workforce development, co-production and a preparedness to reflect and learn.

The challenge of meeting public expectations

After that it went from bad to ugly with the airing of a BBC Panorama programme revealing mistreatment of vulnerable adults at Whorlton Hall, a private hospital in County Durham. There was then a succession of critical reports.

As we hurtle towards island autonomy through Brexit what does 2020 hold?

We face the growing challenge of meeting public expectations.

What service users want from a hospital

I recently ran a patient engagement event for service users and asked what they would like from the hospital. Among the positives were requests for ‘people to talk to me more’, to be ‘told what is going on’ and my favourite, ‘we wanted lovely nurses’.

Staff attitudes and behaviour are one of the main aspects of care that fails to meet expectations and yet it is such an easy thing to fix. Behaviour is a conscious choice, and if all of us choose to be ‘lovely’ at every care contact we could not fail to smash expectations. Join me in making this your 2020 resolution.


Wendy Johnson is head of safeguarding adults at risk and nursing lead for learning disabilities at Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Swindon. She writes about life with her daughter Rachael, who has autism.

 


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