Process or People?

This is yet another of my short posts another snapshot of my life as I see it.
I recently spent a couple of days in hospital for physical health issues and one thing I saw upset me. One woman with dementia was in my bay, small, head bent, talked quietly to herself, lost in her world I guessed someone’s mother, wife, aunt, friend she may even have worked as a nurse?

One thing I noticed during my stay was the processes that took place on the ward, regimented like clockwork lights on, beds made, breakfast, medication, wash, cup of tea, lunch…. and so on, another thing I noticed were many lovely kind nurses doctors porters and other staff really working hard.

What I saw were the people seemingly getting in the way of the process, if you wanted to do something different because you felt ill then the process couldn’t deal with that. I saw staff stretched, off ill, there was no time, little time for people only process.

What made me sad was the woman I spoke of with dementia, they got her out of bed at 8am and she struggled, slapped them but they dressed her as she complained said ‘no’ and was left to sit in her chair. A banana left uneaten a cold beaker of tea, head bent and I asked her if she wanted tea and she said ‘no’ so I left went back to my bed. I noticed her bed looked really well made though !!

I wondered if the staff had instead asked do you want to get up? How are you feeling today? Does it hurt when we dress you? Not assumed she couldn’t answer, not forced someone who was ill to get out of bed at 8am to sit in her chair ….They didn’t force me… Maybe someone can answer me I’m not a professional. Or is there just no time left to talk?

I just ask myself as I work in mental health ‘am I here for the process or the people?’ For me I know the answer. Or is it due to the huge  cuts within the NHS that there is less time to spend with people and it’s all about the process? It would seem  the NHS sometimes forgets staff and patients but it looks good in glossy leaflets …


About bpdffs

I campaign for better services for people with BPD. I run #BPDchat onTwitter on Sundays at 9pm BST, please join us. I train CMHT staff in BPD awareness and run psycho-educational courses for people with BPD. I am a governor at Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust.

2 responses to “Process or People?”

  1. twittleyjules says :

    I understand the new MHA Code of Practice urges hospitals and providers to avoid this one size fits all approach for those with mental illness. I hope that can be done…and throughout rest of the NHS too by the sound of it. Glossy brochures aren’t cheap either..l

    • bpdffs says :

      You know with all the best intent I really don’t think its possible and yes those glossy brochures could just be online or could be read on a tablet it would save millions I reckon

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