Saturday, 9 February 2013

Pedal Therapy

Since the snow left, times have been rather busy and tough around here.

I work for part of the NHS in Staffordshire. I don't think I need to say much more. It has been a long story, one the families will live for always, but the past few weeks have been especially heartbreaking and depressing.

Although I hear of miracles happening all the time and of my colleagues who go above and beyond any call of duty, we are all ashamed and devastated. Everyone questions themselves continually and still we do not understand how what happened could have happened.
There are no simple answers. We must keep trying our hardest and remember what it means to care, whatever our roles and wherever we work whether on a ward, in the community or at a desk like me in another part of the region.

We will never forget those people who were so appallingly betrayed, deserved so much more and their families who will remain haunted forever.
There is little more I can say. I have been out on my bike a lot. Thinking. Thinking I am lucky to be able to make a difference. Fortunate to not have lost someone. In a good place to help take things forward.

Even from such tragedy there is always hope and I'm reminded that, whatever the consequence, I know I am resolved to never, ever walk on by.

26 comments:

busybusybeejay said...

I am sure it has been and will be very difficult for a long time to come.Five more hospitals are being investigated.They say something good comes out of everything and let's hope it does out of this.As someone who is going into hospital this week for an operation i am a little worried.Will this make the nursing staff more caring or will they still talk in very loud voices all night as happened last time.I do hope you start to feel better soon and that you are able to make a contribution to change things in the future.

Lynn said...

Do not be hard on yourself.It is not your burden to carry. Living in Staffordshire I empathise with you - this has been a shocking local story.
Take care.
L.x.

Revrunner said...

Your post took me to the Mail Online site where I read about the report. Distressing news.

Chel C said...

I used to work in the NHS and it is so soul destroying when something like this happens and you have worked so long and hard. Keep up the good work and making a difference! Take care. Chel

Julie Clay Illustration said...

I don't have much faith in hospitals, the 2 near me are not good, my brother died in Dewsbury hospital, and I know that some days he couldn't get a drink properly. He was in there over Easter, and there were certainly staffing problems, 3 to look after 24 patients overnight! I just hope I can stay clear of them, they have been going downhill for years! Too many chiefs not enough indians. It's a problem throughout the country, not just your hospital.

lilac and old roses said...

I worked as a nurse for twenty three years and gradually watched the profession I trained so hard to be a part become demoralised, worn out, target and profit driven. Project 2000 started the decline along with polical interference. I left and now work as a very low paid support worker for adults with learning disabilities which I love with a passion. I too have thought long and hard about the horrific stories and what the solutions could be. But, whatever has gone wrong and surely so much has, the basic human rights of a person remain and if someone cannot work in a caring profession without actually caring then we have no hope, Janex

Mary Anne Komar said...

I'm so sorry for all of the emotions you are going through. Living near Seattle, Washington, US, am not aware of what has happened. But I send you sweet thoughts and prayers your way.
Mary Anne

Rose H (UK) said...

I KNOW that there are caring folk like you that make a difference Steph, and than goodness for it. Stafford District General is our local hospital - need I say more?
Rose H

P.S. Love your header photo :o)

haggiz said...

I worked for the NHS up until last year, but was able to leave to do what I really want to do. It was depressing seeing too many patients not get enough care and not enough staff not getting support. You cannot feel guilty for what went wrong in your community, we all have to do the best we can. Enjoy the cycling and those beautiful flowers in the first picture! Julie x

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Sad times for all involved, however peripherally, and I think I'm including the whole of UK society in that. Were that everyone had your compassion and humility Steph, then these things could not have happened x

PinkCatJo said...

Sounds like a difficult time at work. When I worked in the media I was caught up in a lot of dramas and crisis', so I know how emotionally draining it can be. But it's nothing compared to this when people's lives are involved. A friend's husband works in a lab where they're testing DNA of beef at the moment - he's having an equally rough time.

I guess the only thing to think is that now the mistakes have been made, the hospital will be kept very much in check going forward. I'm sure it is in a much better place already. x

Amanda said...

It must be very difficult for all involved. My dad had the choice of choosing a hospital out of the area (Stoke lists were full)for a knee op, he chose Stafford as it was were my brother works. I made him change it to Crewe. Its so hard when things like this happen to change things around. Thank goodness for all those who care like you.

elsy said...

i sadly lost my oldest friend last summer who was under the care of one of the other trusts under investigation. she was 52 and shouldnt have died then but did for the lack of care. i'm so pleased you wrote this because we sometimes forget how it affects those workers who are trying their very hardest.

driftwood said...

sad times x getting some fresh air being gentle to yourself is a good plan. looking forwards and resolving to learn from mistakes is the only way forwards xxx

Anonymous said...

I lost my husband a year ago on Tuesday at one of the other hospitals under investigation, he was 53 and no he did not have the care he should of done until we got to intensive care.During that time I have never come across such wonderful compassionate and caring people.
We have a beautiful 7 year old daughter and I try and see the good and beauty in all the small things and in everyday.
The best way i can honour my husbands memory is to stay postive and move forward,although as hard as it is something you and your colleagues must do as we never see all the good stories.'Lots of love to you

Kathleen Jones said...

I'm sorry that you are going through this troubling time. I think you have the right stuff to make the sitation better for those you care for.

I found your blog through Sarier's link and have so enjoyed reading through it and all of your photos. I sat up late reading all of the christmas tagged posts. That is my favorite season and I felt as though I was experiencing the true english christmas. Christmas in central illinois is less inspired. So thanks for sharing.

Gill said...

I lost my dad in August 2011 due to poor care and treatment whilst being treated in an unconnected hospital. I've never fully got over it, knowing what he went through especially towards the end but he would have been the last person to point the finger at a whole organisation or profession. As a policeman his profession went from being respected to hated during the miner's strike. Yet anyone who knew him wouldn't have thought badly of him and all he could do was continue to do his job to the best of his ability and not allow himself be tarnished by the actions of others. And that is all you can do too, Steph. It weighed heavily on him at the time and it was painful to witness as a teenager but he came through it and so will you.Continue to do your job well and let your conscience guide you.
Love and stuff xxx

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why people did not care - they should have spoken out. Money should never come before care

purple-roses-country-cottage said...

Dear Steph,
I'm so sorry for all of the emotions you all are going through. I live in Germany and I was not aware of what happened in your district. I just read it in the web. I think it is a problem throughout nearly all countries, not just your hospital. You must try to make a difference. Pls. Try to stay positive. Nicolexxx

Frances said...

Steph, you've written with wisdom and sensitivity. Even over here in the States I have heard a bit about this particular NHS situation. Believe me, we have got plenty of our own medical care problems, too, and emotions can run high when public vs private funding is debated.

Please do continue to encourage your own good health with more bike rides.

Best wishes. xo

jane said...

I used to work for the NHS many years ago in a SCBU and sorry i cannot get my head around how many uncaring nurses there must be in order to neglect so many patients on such a basic level, all those poor children in hospitals that i read about in the daily telegraph.
I have a theory that for years nurses were put on too high a pedestal, being called angels and they just got complacent unfortunately.
Complacency is a dangerous state to be in look what happened when the nation assumed complacency over jimmy saville.
jane

sustainablemum said...

It is hard for everyone to comprehend what is happening to our beloved NHS. It must be a very difficult place to work right now, especially in the Stafford area. I can't help thinking that if successive governments stopped meddling and restructuring and left the staff to get on with doing their job it would be a very different organisation. You are brave for speaking out I hope you find your way through this really difficult time.

PkNews said...

I Like Your Blog....

anne bebbington said...

Sadly I don't think it is peculiar to Staffordshire - my daughter is a 3rd year student physio in Herts and has done several hospital placements in the southeast - while she has never witnessed extremes such as those experienced in your area she has seen variances which have caused her concern and I sometimes fear for her future within the service as she has compassion in bucketloads and doesn't hold back if she feels things are wrong which is the right way to be but often doesn't endear her to those who would settle for second or third best - hopefully all the tragic incidences within the NHS all around the country will serve as a timely reminder to the great and good who hold the planning and purse strings that compassion and decency cannot have a price tag put upon them and that the practitioners across the land need to be left to care for and comfort their charges without that being compromised by red tape

Anne said...

I work for the Mid Yorkshire nhs trust and we are undergoing a major financial crisis at the moment.Despite the governments claims to not cut back on front line staff, it is those people who are losing jobs not managers.We are expected to do more and more for less and less pay, having had pay freezes for 3 years. Now they are wanting to downgrade us all losing more money. Staff do their best for patients but are demoralized and so stretched. They cant look after patients as well as they would like.All we can do is continue to try to do our best and treat others as we would want ourselves and our loved ones to be.Dont beat yourself up, there are good and bad.

Carol said...

Hard times for those striving to maintain the caring standards the NHS has so rightly been renowned for in the past. Feel very sorry for the families betrayed and for you and your colleagues who have suffered from this tragedy.
Carol xx