Intended for healthcare professionals

Views And Reviews Acute Perspective

David Oliver: Blaming hospitals for systemwide problems will make winter bleaker

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4553 (Published 03 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4553

Re: David Oliver: Blaming hospitals for systemwide problems will make winter bleaker

First a response to Dr Mann
Dear Dr Mann
Here, in England, at least, nurses do not accept the role of doctors' hand-maidens. Indeed, they used to say, some years ago, that They were patients' advocates. (Their advocacy seems to have disappeared.)

Second, a response to Mr Stone. I agree totally.

Third, a response to Dr Oliver.
You are right. We, the patients, should not blame ONLY the local management for the failures of the SYSTEM imposed upon us by the S o S.

But we must express our anger at those NHS managers = chief executives (some doctors, some nurses, some lay) who wring their hands in public because there are not enough resources, but then allow themselves to be browbeaten into returning to their hospitals and extracting the last drop of blood from the nearly exsanguinated staff.

Finally - we should also thank those members of the NHS staff who, despite the sadism of the management, keep treating the patients as fellow humans. A few days ago, SOMEWHERE IN ENGLAND, I had a cataract operation. The surgeon came out, took each dottery patient by the hand, gently leading her (more old girls than old boys) to the operating theatre. The nurses too were kind. To all those staff I thank for treating me as a human being, not as a digit on a computer screen.

Competing interests: No competing interests

08 October 2017
JK Anand
Retired doctor
Free spirit
Peterborough