Sunday, 17 November 2013

Criminalising caring people.

You can hardly fail to have noticed from my recent Blogs that I’ve been having problems with Doctors over the last few weeks. Perhaps you think I will be welcoming David Cameron’s proposal to create a criminal offence of ‘Wilful Neglect’ by Doctors, Nurses and NHS managers, building on criminal offences designed to protect children or the vulnerable?

Not a bit of it, it’s all nonsense. Whatever issues I may have with the Doctors, they are overworked and floundering. Criminalising what they do is wrong and pointless.

As I’ve said before there are already offences – manslaughter/murder where there is a death or assault and neglect. They could be strengthened but they are already there and are little used.

That’s because it’s almost impossible to prove – everyone works on 8 hour shifts so who did what?

Actually the problem is a culture where it’s OK for a whole host of people not to bother, not where one person is to blame. If this comes in, forms will be produced for everyone to ‘tick off’ actions ‘completed’ to protect themselves. It won’t mean those things have actually been done. Then it’s a question of who forgot to ‘tick’.

What we need are for there to be professional registers for everyone; carers, managers, nurses, Doctors, physiotherapists, midwives, the whole lot.

The registers need to be independent of the professionals they police and they need to be rigorous in striking off those who fail to do their jobs properly.

That and a system of ‘mystery shoppers’ (do I need to explain that again?) is what it needs.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

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