With the NHS constantly in the spotlight for being understaffed and overworked, looking for quick fixes – such as employing nursing associates – is unlikely to prove helpful straight away, as such individuals need time to be trained.
A few years ago, as reported in the Guardian, the government launched a recruitment drive to attract more doctors’ assistants in an attempt to take the pressure off an already strained NHS.
Concern patients would suffer
The reservations expressed at that time seem to still be relevant today, with many worried that such initiatives will only result in a health care service that is run ‘on the cheap’ and that the people to suffer would ultimately be the patients, who would not be able to tell the difference. In the same way today, nursing associates would not be as highly trained as a fully-fledged nurse, leading to similar misconceptions.
The reality of getting funding to train more staff is harder than it seems. The NHS is treating a record number of people, which is why the workforce needs to grow. Perhaps a new type of medic is the answer, but can the funding realistically be found and the training for new staff completed as quickly as required? Whatever happens we need to act quick as people are dying without care and they are even dying in hospitals because of lack of staff. If you are unfortunate enough to lose someone whilst they are being cared for let someone else plan the funeral and where they are going to get buried. You could choose the Headstones that you think they would want though.
Taking the strain where it is needed
With the rise in population, the strain on our health service will only increase. The current staff are overworked and underpaid, so how do we make sure they are taken care of? How do we help them to help us, with more support and more staff to assist?
Companies are on hand to provide clinical staffing solutions in an attempt to fill positions quickly, using qualified consultants from around the world; however, this is still unlikely to fill the void completely.
While the British Medical Association warns that new posts aimed at helping to ease the strain would not replace doctors, it could indeed be useful if the concept was carried out properly and measures were taken to ensure standards did not slip.
What is the key to a successful NHS service? Having the funding to train more staff quickly and efficiently is definitely something that should be considered, but whether this can be achieved remains to be seen.