Friday, 19 March 2010

In loco parentis?

While cruising in our NHS provided Ferrari along Northernshire’s leafy lanes and high moorland along twisting roads we were flipping the channels between the happening yoof boogie box beat channels as we hit the heady speeds of 60 mpg in second and the more serious dolcet tones of the UK Radio 4 six o’clock news.

An item caught out attention late into this news program regarding an inquest verdict were a boy who died from an asthma attack might have survived if teachers had acted earlier.

The relationship between teachers, doctors and illness has changed a lot in our professional life times in the UK. We will not comment regarding the progressive dumbing down of education whereby only 5% of people were once thought to be “intelligent” enough to go the university whereas now 50% are able to achieve this educational opportunity in the same way that in the last 12 years average height for males in the UK has gone from 5’10 to 7 foot. The same we are sure has happened for IQ in that now 50% of the population now has an IQ of 130+ by Party diktat.

Clearly the Party has redefined the normal distribution or engaged in some serious massage of educational standards to achieve this “rise”.

One of the team had a child who developed diabetes and required insulin while at junior school. As parents we were educated regarding this and told what to tell the school. We went and told the school and said there was a chance that the child might develop a low blood sugar and may require sugar if this happened. In those days this was in the form of glucose powder or tablets or if you were really posh Lucazade and a bottle was left with the school.

On occasions this was needed and the teachers duly gave glucose when required.

Fast forwards a few decades to the “far more educated” population because 50% of them now go to a University and look at the child with asthma where no-one called an ambulance.

UK GPs will often get appointments for “emergency” prescriptions for asthma inhalers for children who take the same inhaler to school that they use at home. A parent is allowed to kill maim and abuse their child (until caught) but a teacher in loco parentis cannot administer a drug to a child unless the drug is prescribed by a doctor, is in a box labeled by a pharmacist which can only be used for that child in these educated shires up North.

Where will this madness end? Imagine our child having a hypoglycaemic attack today, with the treatment being available to save its life being denied by a “professional” because they do not know the policies or procedures and the bottle with the life saving glucose was not labeled by a pharmacist “Give 100mls if required”. Should we abandon the teaching of first aid to the general public for fear of everyone being sued for intervening to try to save lives?

Praise be to the Party for all of its wise legislature and protection of the public by its proscription of everything that every professional can and can’t do. Prevent the use of common sense and you may cost lives but all boxes are ticked, and all policies and procedures will be followed so no problems.

The only thing preventing life saving in the community is the fear of fear itself not the ability to do something as this sad case illustrates. More proscription anybody? Coming to your profession sometime soon so watch out.


Anonymous said...

Have a thought for one of your blogging colleagues who on his ward round found a very heavy patient who was developing severe pressure sores on his tail. He asked the nurses to turn him only to be told that, on account of the patient's great weight, they were not allowed to. The hospital, you see, wishes to avoid payouts to nurses who do their backs in. A hoist was required according to the rules. But there was no hoist so the nurses just left him. Just what are you supposed to do in such circumstances? Where is the common sense? That's what we most need but it is in very short supply and managers seem to want to stamp it out altogether. You just cannot manage every eventuality by following the Party's protocols. Common sense can save lives as it might have done in the case of the poor boy with asthma. The one thing the Party is never prepared to do is encourage people to use their judgement to do what they think is right.

GrumpyRN said...

And this nonsense,

A lady lay in a mine for 6 hours and later died as the senior officer decided that it was not a job for the 'fire Rescue service' but required mountain rescue and later stated that the "job was a success" as no firefighter was hurt.

Anonymous - You will never get in trouble in the modern NHS if you follow protocols, common sense is very far from common and as you say management would much rather stamp it out. It is easier to defend a protocol than to say someone actually used a bit of initiative. Roll on retirement.

Anonymous said...

And, of course, nurses are a lot more vulnerable than doctors to disciplinary action if they don't follow the rules.

Which is why it is sometimes just easier to get a couple of medical students to haul the fatty up the bed!