Tuesday, 10 June 2008


I wasnt planning to write this post for some time. However as the topic has arisen on various other blogs I thought I would follow suit.

My first real job in care was in a dementia nursing home. There I saw some of the worst care practice of my life so far. Patients needs, Moving and Handling Policy, Infection Control Policy, and many other important aspects of care went right out of the window. Even in my relatively unskilled months I immediately knew this practice wasnt right.

Recently allegations regarding a care home owner who was sexually abusing his residents were verified. I could spin off hundreds of other stories focusing on the poor practice in care homes. I wont do that, instead I intend to contrast it with the superb care practice in hospitals.

When a patient is admitted to a ward their care needs are fully assessed, as well as their personal needs. The nursing and care staff do their best to make the patient feel safe and comfortable and I've not heard of one incident locally that suggests patients have been taken advantage of in any way.

The only difference between care homes and hospitals is, in hospitals you've got lots and lots of people watching you're every move. Everything is documented, if the hospital legal advisers get so much as a wiff of poor practice you'll be out of a job. This doesnt happen in care homes, there are doors to close and limited(and mostly similar minded) staff to witness you're actions.

My question is this, if there was no governance in hospitals or if it was as limited as it is in care homes, would hospital care diminish to the same state?


Darkwinter said...

Probably. There have been many studies done on the psychological effects of being watched - the one that springs to mind was a tray of goods of some sort left unguarded with a donation box. In the case which saw a pair of eyes adorning the box, the donations were significantly more forthcoming.

People tend to be more honest, moral, dutiful - whatever you want to call it - when they know their actions will be judged. Take away or diminish that, and morality takes a plunge. The other end of the spectrum has also been tested (with varying and less certain results, it must be stressed) by which people who were assured anonymity in their actions began doling out pain etc.

The human mind is a strange thing, especially when taken in the social context.

Sage said...

All I know is I dread the thought of one day ending up in one of those uncare homes... I want to die living not a living death