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What went wrong with The NHS for The Welsh Region? …


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Greg Lance – Watkins


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Lisa Peregrine
Lisa Peregrine• FollowingHealthcare safety journalist

NHS Wales- what went wrong ?

I’m having one of my ‘if I ruled the NHS’ days. Here in Wales we struggle with staffing, the situation is getting worse, and we have ongoing strikes. NHS Wales looks to be in terminal decline.

I have to ask myself-Why doesn’t the NHS ask those in the frontline what exactly (apart from £) makes the NHS such a poor employer ? I can tell you my thoughts, having been a victim of NHS abuse & hence a critical thinker on the subject.

Number 1 gripe- staffing reduction.

Well I had to start somewhere, & I’ll leave that stand alone. To be sorted as the dysfunctional workplace is addressed.

Number2 gripe-infrastructure failure.

In my unit we had one computer between around 7. Our working system was highly computerised. This sets the workforce up for failure. If you can’t afford a computer each, decomputorize work. Don’t set us up to fail.

Number3 gripe-Food.

Years ago we had staff canteens (remember them ?) where hot, cheap grub was available 24/7. You can’t expect an army to march on an empty stomach. By the time I left, lunch breaks were a theoretical idea in the mind of some HR geek who wanted to deduct half hours pay. This is bloody insulting.

Number4 gripe- Parking.

I did assessments in multiple hospital sites &lack of short term parking for those on the road was an irritation & led to time loss. Surely this could be addressed by someone somewhere ?

Number5 gripe-Health&safety.

Latterly in my career I did outreach work for G4S in Prison. Part of induction was a fairly low level health&safety exam. This opened my eyes to horrific lack of H&S within NHS Wales. I don’t think I ever saw a H&S officer EVER in my whole career in NHS Wales. The hazards in my working environment were everywhere from the lack of water labelling to trip hazards & failing kitchen gadgetry. What message does this give staff regarding worth ? My understanding is that rather than address H&S, NHS Wales employs a vast array of lawyers &suppression techniques.

I could go on (and on). But the bottom line is, NHS Wales is, in my opinion, not a good employer. Frontline staff are seen as cannon fodder, expendable commodities. The message is put up shut up or get out. And that’s what a lot of us did (which leads me back to gripe one-remember staffing levels).

My message is really aimed at those at the top (unlikely to want to read my blogs). Think of yourself as employers who are in competition to keep loyal staff. Provide them with some level of protection as if they are precious commodities (they are, you can’t just conjure up an experienced child psychiatrist overnight). Think- “are our staff as cared for as those working in Tesco?”

Because if you don’t look after your frontline staff, you will eventually be out of a job. If you can’t be bothered to read all of this, the last sentence summarises everything I wanted to say to NHS employers !

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