A week in the life of the NHS

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I recently went into Bassetlaw Hospital for a knee replacement operation, the treatment I received from the surgeon all the way through to the ward cleaners was excellent.

However the caveat is the only reason my treatment was so good was only due to the dedication of the staff. The week I spent in hospital gave me a great insight into the running of the NHS, especially the shortage of staff and how they are treated by management. It surprised me how many agency staff are used, some nurses and carers are working beyond retirement; which of course is their right, and I was very glad of their experience.

The night shift it would seem to me is one of the real problem areas as far as staffing levels are concerned. On at least one night a staff nurse was left on her own because two agency nurses did not turn up. She was left with all the work and responsibility whilst management were safely tucked up in bed. The staff are allowed a meal break but is it really theirs, they do not get paid for the break but are not allowed to leave the ward. This is management being sly because on lots of occasions, because of the pressure of work, these breaks are not taken; so management have staff working for free. There should be enough staff so that these breaks can be taken and taken away from the ward should they choose to do so. One wonders what the union was doing negotiating such a poor deal. It should also be noted that the nurses etc have to pay to park their cars, I wonder if the management do?

The NHS is something to be proud of I would not like to be in a country where treatment depends on whether or not you have the ability to pay. This is our NHS, we the people who use it, we have a responsibility to the workers in the health service to protect them and make sure they are treated properly and with respect in the same way they treat us. The NHS is not safe in the hands of the ConDems, it is down to the people of Britain to stop privatisation, the cutting of staffing levels and ward closures. Of course this situation I have outlined is not unique to Bassetlaw it is throughout the NHS.

I would end by sending my heart felt thanks to the wonderful dedicated NHS workers who, whilst under great pressure, keep our hospitals running.

David Smith

Victoria Street, Dinnington