|NHS Illustration by Matt Kenyon|
If only it were back to the days of Doctor in the House, a fifties film and sit- com for those of you of younger years, or even Carry on Doctor where Matron ruled the roost. Matron's eagle eye would spot a crumpled pillow at 20 paces and a soiled bed for more than 30 seconds would mean execution at day break.
Oh to return to the hospital's where patients came first, Matron saw to that.
My sojourn of three days, aged 23, having my tonsils out was memorable. I was put in the children's ward. Matron was furious as she said as an ill adult I should feel obliged to look after the child patients, she was right there but I stayed and the three of us two little boys aged 4 and 11 had a wonderful time. We had ice cream and fun and we all cried on leaving each other.
Today nobody seems to be in charge of the wards. To command any organization one does seem to need a single person to be in charge and issue the Follow me Chaps order if any semblance of authority and compliance is to be achieved. A matron can be appealed to on her rounds and a complaint made. Today complaints are seldom made as the patient is sick anyway and has not the strength to put up a fight to find the right person to complain to and in any case what would be the use as nobody will take responsibility and do something.
Hygiene too would be better served with a matron in charge and in general moral. OK the person may be an ogre but that is what is required a the moment. Come back Florence Nightingale! She knew how to run a hospital!
Abandon hope all ye who enter here seems to be the motto of our general hospitals today. Let us pray that the Francis Report does not lie unheeded.