What on earth has happened to care services in this country?
Not a week goes by without me hearing about or reading about government or commissioning services initiatives to ensure that the patient/service user is at the centre of healthcare and that their basic needs must be met – one example being that they should be spoken to in a respectful manner. What? Don’t these things go without saying?
I know from recent experience that nursing students undertaking their training, for example, frequently fail to turn up for lectures or placement days because they would rather earn some extra cash doing agency work as unqualified support workers.
I trained in the 1970s and woe betide you if you missed lectures or practical training sessions without good reason: we were required to produce a medical certificate if we missed study days through alleged poor health!
I have also encountered student nurses doing agency work when they are supposed to be on self-directed study preparing for exams or written assignments but if you challenge this you run the risk of being accused of breaching their human rights.
I once failed a student nurse for a poor exam paper, only to get a letter three days after the results were released from a solicitor threatening me with court action unless I reversed my decision! Frightening.
Richard KIMBLE, Leeds LS5