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Comment: The Truth Inside The NHS By Staff Nurse Emmette Dillon

Mounting pressure, longer hours, stressful work environment - a day in the life of a UK nurse

WHEN you think of a nurse, what image pops into your head?

A comedy image conjured up by a carry on film ‘Oh Matron’, a near saintly perception by the name Florence Nightengale or maybe a busty blonde in a tradition white dress with paper hat ready to give you a good bed bath.

No, in reality the blonde would have her hair scraped back and have panda eyes due to the exhaustion of her third 12 hour shift on a bed blocked under staffed ward.

The reality is that as a nurse, we are the foot soldiers for the NHS.

Nurses across NI/UK and Ireland are now doing the job of what three nurses would of been tasked with 10 years ago.

Our job role has been transformed which leaves us half way between social worker and care worker, the nursing model now reads more like a financial adviser’s/legal clerks filing cabinet.

Why because we are constantly stuck at a desk documenting to prevent any conceivable litigation that could ensue from ward events.

Commentator and nurse Emmette Dillon

Commentator and nurse Emmette Dillon

What needs to change is that nurses need to be allowed to be exactly that, nurses.

Release us from the shackles of paper work and let us care for our patients instead of lumbering us with audits, ward meetings, social work reviews etc.

The up-skilling in the NHS as a means of saving money is in effect watering down nursing care and not freeing time that could be spent actually caring for patients.

So who is to blame, in my opinion David Cameron and a succession of health minsters we have had in Northern Ireland.

David Carmen and his gaggle of Public school party MP’s do not understand the importance and value of the NHS to the working man, David Cameron once couldn’t answer a question on how much a litre of milk costs today, he is completely out of touch.

He is happy to sell off the NHS, let’s be honest his party have actively set out to privatise a number of national institutions/services.

Why has Mr Cameron not thrown a rescue package at the NHS but has done so at the banks? Well by portraying the NHS as a dying family pet, he creates the illusion, plants the seed in our heads that we would be better off with private health insurance.

As a nurse it’s shocking that as one of the very few professions that cannot strike, we are treated appallingly, this isn’t a coincidence.

BAM.Stock Female Nurse DoctorThe fear of falling behind/the constant pressure from the powers at be to do even more within an incredibly busy 12 hours is in effect reducing the quality of care, which in effect causes accidents to happen, which causes litigaton.

So in effect the management structure/policies are costing us even more money, but managers don’t see the human cost, nurses crying in their car on the way home for fear that they forgot a signature or didn’t give a tablet.

Technically the NHS promotes a culture of honesty regarding mistakes/ clinical incidences. But my fellow nurses will back me up and say that the very reason why nurses in the past have tried to hide errors, was the fear of punishment.

The sad fact is that nurses are not supported by senior management, they only see audit figures and budgets.

This then perpetuates the culture of ‘throw each other under the bus’ or ‘your on your own mate’ among nurses because we have a guard our registration with our life’s.

Senior management need to see the people behind the tunic and fob watch doing an incredible job juggling our various roles ‘nurse, counsellor, PA, hair dresser, friend, events manager, stylist’ in order to meet our patient’s needs, not a army of worker ants. So how do we save the NHS, back to basics, free up time to care.

The next time you see a nurse leaving a hospital after a shift, he or she more than likely needs it.

Written by Staff Nurse Emmette Dillon, Tweet him HERE


3 Comments on Comment: The Truth Inside The NHS By Staff Nurse Emmette Dillon

  1. Lamentable to read such utter nonsense from this Staff Nurse and proof if ever needed the type of healthcare system we’ve allowed our services to morph into while charged by these type of professionals has been catastrophic. The facts speak for themselves, hospitals ran more efficiently without the S&M (Stand & Model) protocols proliferating today. I should think in the event of litigation a more robust and senior expert opinion from a consultant or professor is employed to safegaurd against erroneous negligence claims as expressed by the writer. If he or Nurses like him cannot do the work they’ve been trained for, step aside while someone, who can, efficiently does so. I can only hope the desired attention sought by writer furthers his alternative career before it’s too late.


  2. Emmette Dillon // October 16, 2015 at 2:28 am // Reply

    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my article. So us the nurses or as you refer to as ‘these type of professionals’ are the reason that the NHS is in its current state??? Can I begin by pointing why your opinion means nothing to me, throughout your colourful display or arrogance, not once did you reference the words ‘patient, patients or care’. See it is my duty of care to my patients, be that professional/legal and morally that dictates the care I give and the very reason why I agreed to write this article. Furthermore, I am motivated by the efforts of my colleagues in healthcare, watching them work tirelessly in order to do their best for their patients despite the challenging working environment. What I am asking for us not excessive, also the failings and recommendations I have outlined mirror that of the senior professionals that you hold in such higher regard than mere staff nurses in the Francis Report to give but one example. My nursing colleagues are more than capable to do our jobs, but we as professionals and advocates for our patients have the right to demand better working conditions so that we can, as yo suggest, do our work more efficiently. Please do put on a tunic and come work alongside my fellow nurses and I and then tell us how redundant or petulant we are. But, as I suspect, if you do work in the health service, based on your comments alone, it has been a while since your fair hands have touched a patient. Furthermore, I’d say you are more suited to sitting behind a desk, viewing patients as numbers/ a factor to be considered in a budget and nurses are merely the hand maidens or bait to be thrown to the lions when the system fails yet again. Unlike you,my comments come from the front line, my comments are based on my concerns for my fellow nurses and more importantly, the well being of my patients. In conclusion, I am a nurse who is by no means perfect but without a doubt cares and has worked in the caring profession for over 10 years. As for my alternative career that you refer to? Are you making reference to my work as a cancer awareness campaigner or as a model/writer? What I do in my own time is my business. But when I am charged to care for my patients,I give my all. I have attached my name to this article, I haven’t hidden away,I am willing to stand by every word. Why not show your credentials, seeing that you are so knowledgeable and can so clearly point out where nurses have went wrong. Better still, contact Tina and let’s further our discussion. I am sure one of the national radio stations will gladly give you a platform to further what has been in my opinion, an effort to vilify nurses ‘like me’ who are concerned about how the NHS serves the needs of patients. Kind regards
    Emmette Dillon (a mere nurse)


    • RGN Dillon, you’re privledged to have my responding opinion by way of reply, as I see it, your ‘judgemental’ nursing skills accuses arrogance among other incorrect presumtpions but as a self expressed caring individual, I expected no less. Let’s be reminded ‘no man or woman is an island’ and ‘there’s no ‘I’ in team’ but I view your role merely by contrast to the broader health service team and every person this encompasses paid or unpaid and most importantly, the service user. Perhaps those other issues you desire to raise would be best addressed by your registration body spokesperson or at conference. I note you seek a challenge but I remain doubtful any national medium would provide you a platform for grievence in this manner nor will I bullied into assisting your profile building PR project. I appreciate your cause seeks to drag your profession into further disrepute and promote discontent in which case I refuse to engage with you further since you are not representative of dutiful staff who perform excellenty under stress.


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