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Are you working in the NHS you can trust?

Bethann Siviter: We often speak about how social care could be improved. It’s time to speak loudly

There is an old saying: 'When up to your butt in alligators, its hard to remember the objective was draining the swamp.' It seems especially fitting for our NHS right now.

Staff are so busy trying to cope with all the added pressures flu jabs, inappropriate discharges, people waiting for appointments and treatment, but also high absences, burnout and inadequate staffing that we can lose sight of why we are there. We are there for two reasons: to improve the life, health and well-being of those in the community, and to ensure necessary provision of services.

I need to ask you a serious question: Are you working in the NHS you can trust to give you and the people you love the care they need in a crisis? If the answer is a no, or a hesitant yes, then think about

...

There is an old saying: 'When up to your butt in alligators, it’s hard to remember the objective was draining the swamp.' It seems especially fitting for our NHS right now.


Picture: iStock

Staff are so busy trying to cope with all the added pressures – flu jabs, inappropriate discharges, people waiting for appointments and treatment, but also high absences, burnout and inadequate staffing – that we can lose sight of why we are there. We are there for two reasons: to improve the life, health and well-being of those in the community, and to ensure necessary provision of services.

I need to ask you a serious question: Are you working in the NHS you can trust to give you and the people you love the care they need in a crisis? If the answer is a no, or a hesitant yes, then think about what community care needs to be because there is a possible golden opportunity on the horizon.

We have lost countless community beds and social carers which have caused a backup in acute hospitals meaning people with often limited time must spend it in hospital, not home. Social care is inadequately funded, and the people delivering it inappropriately rewarded. But social care is about to come under healthcare, not in principle but in practice.

How could we evolve services to give the best care? Speak up with your ideas and dreams. Are there ways your team could aid social care? Could your team support social carers, train them, audit them, supervise them?

Have you ever said: “You know, if we...”? If you have, this is a perfect time to speak up because people in power will be looking for ideas, and if there are ways you could help, you could change social care forever.

We often speak about how social care could be improved. It’s time to speak loudly. It’s time those who know community care mould its future.


About the author

Bethann Siviter is an independent nursing consultant

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