Friday, May 20, 2005

The Good Old Days?

One thing about getting older is we probably reflect a little more.

I recently heard a media discussion about the National Health Service and how staff morale is at an all time low.

The discussion also concluded that things are not as good now for patients as they were in the 'good old days' when 'Matron' ruled with an iron fist.

Mmmmmm interesting says me … …..

I remember my long NHS career that started in 1969. I guess that is within the time frame of 'the good old days.'

Here are a few memories - most of my memories are good about the NHS - but these bullet points make me question those alleged ‘good old days’;

  • I remember in 1986 working in a hospital for people with a learning disability. The toilets had no doors on a long stay ward of about 30 patients with profound physical disabilities. Patients were totally exposed to all the staff and fellow patients when going to the toilet – GOOD OLD DAYS?
  • I remember in 1976 walking through a 25 bed ward of old and very frail patients - their beds were within two feet of each other - some had the luxury of bed curtains - most didn't – GOOD OLD DAYS?
  • I remember the awesome, tall and terrifying Matron shouting loudly down the corridor to humiliate - in public - an 18 year old female student nurse whose 'grave error' was that she did not have her hat straight - GOOD OLD DAYS?
  • I remember meeting a 58 year old woman when I started in the NHS on January 6th 1969. She had worked at the hospital in admin for 30 years. She told me ‘Morale isn’t like it used to be years ago – I have never known it so bad’ - GOOD OLD DAYS?

My two points in summary.

  1. THESE ARE the good old days
  2. We tend to look back with 'ROSE TINTED SPECTACLES'

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