"Appalling care" in Gloucestershire hospitals due to mismanagement, warns whistleblower
MISMANAGEMENT within the NHS is crippling Gloucestershire hospitals and strangling the quality of patient care, according to a senior county clinician.
The whistleblower said he fears for the future of both Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals, and said huge sums are being drained from the NHS in unnecessary consultant fees.
Endless 'merry go-round' meetings, cancelled operations and mismanaged beds which are creating a shortage, are having a devastating impact on the service, he said.
The knock-on effect is that morale is plummeting among frontline staff.
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"I've come across patients who have been treated on the wards appallingly, a real lack of care," he said.
"Too much time is spent micro-managing by people – it's a great danger. I've worked in a blue chip company. If their senior managers had needed outside consultants to come in and tell them how to run the firm – they would have been sacked.
"I've always believed nurses want to be nurses – they are not lazy and not stupid, but grossly overworked. When you actually look at what they are doing, it's mainly paperwork and reporting rather than patient care – that's left to untrained and unskilled nursing staff."
He told BBC Radio Gloucestershire that cruelty is becoming normal in Gloucestershire hospitals, and alleged that one stroke patient with a broken arm was left starving, unable to feed herself.
Dr Frank Harsent, chief executive of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was angry at the claims.
"I am disappointed this individual feels the best way to highlight their concerns about our organisation is to approach the media," he said.
"It is important to remember our Trust operates as part of the wider NHS and we play our part within that structure. While we can understand individuals may be frustrated with the complex systems in place throughout the health service, as a public sector organisation it is our duty to implement these."
The insider's claims have been backed up by a nurse at St Paul's Medical Centre in Cheltenham. The nurse, who doesn't want to be identified, said staffing pressures are stopping nurses delivering the best possible care.
"In my experience, bullying within the NHS from management is hugely escalating," she said. "Our level of performance as nurses is being constantly scrutinised and that is putting us under pressure."