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We Need Matrons Back - Not another Government Tzar

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Porkie_Pie Report 6 Feb 2013 14:13

Rollo is correct in most of what he says,

Bringing back Matron? they never left, they still have Matron's they are part of the management team

the problem is with management and the way they are fighting to keep their jobs, payed a 6 figure salary the NHS has at least 2 of these per hospital department 1 business manager and an army of admin staff

My wife is forever having to "go toe t toe" with all of them to get the simplest of things done

She was working last weekend on the cardiac "acute" ward doing a 13 hour shift and only her and one other QUALIFIED staff nurse with 18 very poorly patient, This is not her normal roll she does bank shifts on top of her day to day job because she cares and understands how short of qualified nursing staff that the NHS has
she has worked on wards with up to 30 with only 2 qualified staff, no wonder patients go for hours unattended, Rather them than me

In her day job she deals with mainly people who are either dieing and want to go home to die or will need help extra help when they are finally discharged and is for ever fighting on behalf of patient to get them the care/aftercare they want and deserve



wisechild Report 6 Feb 2013 14:09

A friend of mine has just started a nursing degree course where she does alternate 10 week stints between university & hospital.
She is in her late 40s & has gone back to nursing, having had to abandon her course in the 1980s because of ill health.
She has found that the students are not treated as supernumary, but are expected to take a full & active role. She was astounded on her first day on the ward to be instructed to give an injection, although she was being supervised. Luckily she had given injections in her previous training & remembered what to do, but imagine if she hadn´t.
Training nurses to degree level is all well & good, but surely when they are doing their practical part of the course, the wards should retain their normal staffing levels & the students should be "extras".
Seems to me like a money saving exercise.


Maddie Report 6 Feb 2013 13:41

I agree with Liz 47 and what Merlin says is true. What made me mad was the announcements we are spending a million pounds a week in child benefit for children who do not live in this country,.
It would be better spent on training and providing the front line troops the hospitals need.
My experience in hospital left me feeling there were insufficient staff to deal with the needs of the patients and that they were run off their feet.


Merlin Report 6 Feb 2013 13:32

One thing they could do is get rid of the cult of using Nursing Agencies(Which cost lots more money) and employ nurses direct ,Even with the extra cost of insurance,Holiday Pay Etc, it would be cheaper ,leaving more money to be used direct at the place where needed, not in the pockets of the Agency Owners.

Liz 47

Liz 47 Report 6 Feb 2013 12:41

Bring back the "old style" training and the Matrons,


OneFootInTheGrave Report 6 Feb 2013 10:21

I know from personal experience the excellent treatment provided by many of our NHS hospitals having had several heart and cardiovascular operations carried out at Kings College in London, cancer treatment at St Thomas's in London, and eye surgery at the Princess Royal in Orpington.

What concerns me is that these inspection squads, I call them flying squads, will not be hospital based, they will be in some office somewhere and arrive at a hospital, supposedly unannounced, and spend no more than a few hours there.

What is actually needed is someone physically present in every hospital who knows all about nursing and patient care and who is responsible for the daily workings of every ward, that used to be the Matron.

The Matron carried out inspections of the wards every day and apart from their scheduled rounds they also arrived on wards without any advance warning and woe betide any nurse or member of the ward staff who was neglecting their patients or duties.

The leaders of all the political parties have, over the last 15 to 20 years, tinkered and played around with the idea of bringing back Matrons which has resulted in nothing but fudge after fudge, and no doubt today, the Prime Minister and Health Secretary will tinker with this idea again.

Lets face it the result of past attempts to reinstate Matrons have only produced Matrons who have very limited authority and who spend most of their time on administrative work rather than having direct responsibility for patient care.

After the fiasco of what they decided in respect of Lewisham Hospital I dread to think of what botched up decision they will announce today :-(


SheilaWestWilts Report 6 Feb 2013 09:32

I'm sure there are as many experiences, good and bad, as there are hospitals. Sadly, we have recently had bad ones at a certain hospital. Not just involving one person or one ward either. Apparently a senior staff member at said hospital has recently raised concerns with the local media.

Whilst all is driven by targets and tick boxes, I can't see much changing. Some hospitals will manage this culture well, other won't and will 'force' the functions of the organisation to meet the targets as best it can, regardless of the needs and problems of those at the sharp end or the patients :-(


RolloTheRed Report 6 Feb 2013 09:16

In all of this furore it may be worth saying that many NHS hospitals do not have the problems of mid-Staffs and do a fine job.

My other half has spent the last 6 months being treated for oral cancer. The hospital has done a fine job, the staff at all levels from porter to senior consultants are friendly, helpful and hardworking. She is now being treated as an outpatient and again everything is fine.

The hospital in question - which has a large mixed urban catchment - is deservedly popular and has no problem of patient neglect.

fwiw my mother is a retired SRN sister who trained at one of the top teaching hospitals, my niece is a modern SRN and another close rellie an NHS consulant, another a Vet lol. None of them believe that rolling things back to "Matron" and hospital corners is the way to go.

The report is right, the failures of mid-Staffs were failures of management and leadership.

Unfortunately any organization run by check boxes and targets is liable to go off the rails in just this way. That is why Tony Blair's Britain failed. In opposition the LDs and Tories seemed to understand this. In government they are increasingly taking the same sad options.

Whatever words of comfort may emerge from J Hunt I would be amazed if there is any real change because the overriding objective of top down financial targets will remain. Possibly there will new ways for medical staff at the sharp end to lose their jobs but failed middle management will be ok.

So patients will continue to depend on brave consultant doctors who are prepared to go toe to toe with the financial mandarins. And even in if they win the battle they lose the war as at Lewisham.

Blame the generals not the foot soldiers.

Most of the public sector in the UK has the same crisis of management for the same reasons - transport, police, education, defense. I see little reason for optimism.


LadyScozz Report 6 Feb 2013 08:23

closer to home.......

My sister-in-law is a senior nurse.

A couple of years ago she reprimanded a nurse, becauseshe kept mixing up the medication for patients.

My SIL is a dedicated nurse and a caring person, she would not have reprimanded the nurse in a bad way.

SIL was called into HER superior's office, and reprimanded because she upset the other nurse!!

What's would they have done if the nurse gave the wrong medication to a patient and killed them?

Priorities all wrong.


OneFootInTheGrave Report 6 Feb 2013 08:16

I was appalled by this report, and Governments of all shades over the past 30 years must share the blame for what happened. So is what is being suggested the answer?

I don't think it is, this is just adding another layer of bureaucracy, which will no doubt cost a fortune. I personally would advocate getting rid of the existing army of useless pen pushers and bring back MATRONS.

The item below is an extract from today's Daily Mail;-

"David Cameron is appalled by the findings of a long-awaited report into the deaths of up to 1,200 people between 2005 and 2008 because of poor care in hospitals run by the Mid Staffordshire trust.

It is expected to blame managers who cut costs and reduced staffing levels in an attempt to hit Labour’s ‘efficiency’ targets and win foundation status.

The Prime Minister will respond to the findings by announcing the creation of a new chief inspector of hospitals, who will be charged with ensuring hospitals deliver good, compassionate care rather than simply ‘chasing targets’.

Mr Cameron is expected to say: ‘We need a hospital inspection regime that doesn’t just look at numeric targets, but makes a judgment about the quality of care.’

The system will be modelled on that introduced in the early 1990s in education, where a chief inspector sends regular inspection squads into classrooms to assess all aspects of school life".