“Happy, Clappy NHS”

Three years ago NHS Services for Older People were in the depths of despair in the aftermath of the 1200 deaths that were identified at Mid Stafford General Hospital.    This subsequently became the subject of the Francis Report, which made 290 recommendations of how elderly health care in the NHS should improve.  (You can see my comments on this by clicking on “THE FRANCIS REPORT” in the TAG CLOUD).

I forecast at the time that the report had too detailed a focus and lacked an overall vision.    At the same time, the huge number of recommendations were so diverse as to be almost impossible to implement and there would be no way to hold people to account.    Sure enough there seems to have been little obvious change in the following years as evidenced by the Care Quality Commission’s frequent assessments of hospital care as inadequate or in need of improvement.

The latest Twitter gimmick that the NHS has come up with to improve things is the recruitment of Henrietta Hughes, who is a GP, who has been appointed to the role of NHS National Guardian.     This is not a new newspaper editor, nor is it the establishment of some health and safety security service for hospital wards.    Believe it or not, her role in her own words “is to promote happiness throughout the NHS”.   What’s more she will have an army of local guardians in every hospital to spread love and happiness everywhere.

I hope they are not armed with bullet-proof vests, dark glasses and AK47’s otherwise their mission might be misunderstood.   They might be more successful if they wore tie-died shirts, had flowers in their hair and gave out whacky backy.



This is a direct response to the recommendations in the Francis Report and it will,  no doubt, be just as effective.

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4 Responses to “Happy, Clappy NHS”

  1. I am amazed, be buggered, bewildered and bemused!! John you have lit a firework here? I went on to the NHS Henrietta Hughes web sit to make sense of the ‘Happy clappy’ attitude you may have alluded too, and I find the CQC have appointed a gamekeeper to become a poacher, and like the ‘KING’ in that nursery rhyme has no clothes on, literally.
    The web site I allude to with the CQC and its associated documents highlighted and referenced throughout, especially the NHS Constitution for England, difficult and frustrating to follow.
    The whole scene CQC/NHS and CARE for the elderly- whistle bowers, the public interests disclosure Act 1998 needs a fundamental review, and all the existing employer/worker/ patient relationships look at from ground level, no these bits and pieces of additional and cross purpose legislation.
    THE NHS Constitution requires a rethink in the language and phrases it has with in it? especially the rights of the patient and the duty of the staff (ALL GRADES): WE should not be frightened or ashamed of a more positive employer/worker relationship, and a more detached view of whom or who is a patient within the NHS and care industry. THe lines of demarcation need to be more clearly defined and not airy fairy political wishes, and good words.
    This is becoming more important as we society grow older, and riddled with physical and mental issues, that maybe, we do not have family around to personally intervene with our best interests at heart.
    Life is a two way street, and if we require personal guardians, we may require a legal person or body to defend us and look after us in our dotage, and not confuse the well meaning intentions either politically or staff wise of the NHS, which is where the CQC should be looking??
    If a report is required on an aging society this is a task for a Royal Commission, independent enquiry or such, based on fact and not political emotions,

  2. Dear John, I am further perplexed over care in the community, and the manner in which the way the industry is finance, regulated, and governed.
    I have just watched a video recording I made of Tuesdays 15 11 2016 programme BBCTV1 Panorama on the subject of care in the community.
    The programme was based on a single operator in the South West of England, but two of their homes were subject to the investigation.( one home 35 beds-the other bed numbers not declared).
    The whole programme was sensational, and alleging abuse and miss care for a number of very elderly and some mentally impaired residents, with mobility problems of a severe nature.
    The last 3 minutes of the programmes was interviews, opinions, from CQC the regulators, and its representatives. It was illuminating the ‘BODY’ CQC alleges that it is the duty/responsibility of the users of the care industry, both those who pay for services (the patient/resident) and the provider (Registration authority-local council’s).
    This to me is a cop out, and the CQC needs for the elderly/infirmed and care industry to be independent of registration, and its actions need to be not confrontational or cons ciliary, but measured and absolute in its recommendations and findings.
    AS we now have the post war baby boomers approaching old age, and may be becoming the elderly of the UK, perhaps it is time we had a body divorced from the concepts of the NHS, but with the responsibly specifically for care home/nursing homes for the over 65+ (elderly)??? Leaving the NHS to deal with the sick and terminally ill of those who’s medical needs are for social care and not medical needs, to help one recover medical mobility and alertness, to live a normal mobile life.
    As has been said in these pages/blogs before DR Shipman has a lot to answer: It is uncomfortable and life is sacrosanct: Society within the UK, needs to reassess old age and how to deal with it, and invest in care and help, without considering recourse to Dr Shipmen and his ideas.
    AS I said John you have ignited a firework (Little demond)

  3. useless information? the standard firework company of huddesfield in the 50’s produced 3 ‘BANGERS, that I remember;
    Little demon for 1 1/2d each
    cannon for say 2d, and then
    the thunderflash for 3d.
    Just to say john how ever you fancy yourself! you are a ‘BANGER’?? How much? is for you to say and us to ask!!!

  4. I am at sea again? Dear John, do you love me??? I have tagged the Francis Report, and I have eureka moment ( found my missing missives under Legal eagles??) Hurrah.
    However that is not today’s pronouncement: or findings?
    I have been on the web and looked up the The Francis Report, and attempted to scan read it?
    The 290 recommendations, together with the scope or terms of the Mid Staffs Inquiry, to my mind are or have been written with good intentions, but flooded with information of minoushi, such that the categorising of detailed information, forwarded or considered, is or was the main objective of the ‘INQUIRY’. The inquiry was too encompassing in what it reviewed. It did not in my personal opinion consider basic principals of ‘what’; ‘ if’ and ‘how’ the purpose of The Mid Staff Trust was or is???
    John you have all ready expressed this opinion very clearly, and I wonder as I daintily eat my ham and tomato sandwich, what you do with your day, after you have had breakers/ reviewed the post, and considered endless reports.
    One view point i have come too in our mutual exchange of blogs is that regulations and statues should be clear and concise and that the regulation bodies should be effective with dedicated staff, not yes men/women, but persons who are able to understand the principles of right and wrong, and bureaucratic nonsense, such that their considerations of the legal and actual practices in reality. conform with the statues;, not the letter of the law! but the the spirit of intentions! One only comes to this view point with experience; I must acknowledge. Here in ones profession one is guided by ones elders and must on certain occasions make a stand alone decision, which can be uncomfortable for the individual regulatory inspector.
    Hence I believe the panacea by the Francis Report is too confusing, and the NHS,CQC and goverment have not clearly stated the regulatory relationship of the NHS staff ( professional and otherwise), the patients -Public, and the health and welfare industry (including the support services), and its associated bodies to do with running hospitals and the training of both medical and management professionals for the greater NHS and Welfare services…

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