Things to remember before we begin:
1. Matrons exist in hospitals. Right now. There are people who work in hospitals with the job title 'matron'.
2. Nurses aren't there to clean. Cleaners clean.
As I mentioned earlier in Tory twat of the week, Lord Mancroft has slagged off nurses for being "grubby, drunken and promiscuous".
The Hate's take on events is pretty much as you'd expect, although for reasons of 1960s comedy they've included a stock picture of a saucy nurse looking lasciviously at a doctor. Whoops! Ooh matron! *trumpet* Oh ha ha ha.
Anyway, the commenters weigh in with exactly what they're pre-programmed to do on stories about hospitals, which is:
1. Say they're dirty
2. Slag off people who work there (bonus points if 'foreign' nurses are mentioned)
3. Say it's Jock McBottler's fault, blame NuLab for everything and say the country's going to the dogs
4. Repeat Michael Howard's barrel-scraping 'Are you thinking what we're thinking?' mantra of bullshit: Bring Back Matron. Bring Back Matron. Bring Back Matron.
Here they come. But, I'm pleased to report, there is quite a lot of dissent allowed through as well.
That's about the typical standard existing these days. Obviously there is the odd dedicated nurse but very few and far between. They do talk across the bed as though you aren't there and some of the adventures related would shock a sailor. At one stage I asked a nurse for water and all I got was a lecture about her only earning 15 grand a year.
- Andy L, St. Helens UK
When was this, Andy? Much less than nurses actually start on nowadays. So was this a nurse or a healthcare assistant? Not that you'd know the fucking difference.
Bring back matrons and pay nurses more. Give them pride in their jobs. How can you blame them when they have been demoralised by politics?
- Anna, Nottinghamshire
Lord Mancroft should be aware that it is not the nurse's job to clean the wards. They are there to look after patients.
It was a government decision to place poorly paid private contract cleaners into NHS hospitals. This has lead to a decline in cleanliness as a whole.
It is far to easy to knock the NHS and its staff when compared to the U.S.A we should be thankful it exists at all.
His assessment on nurses behaviour and his comment about young women today smacks of the generalised opinion of an old man bemoaning the loss of the "good old days".
The last Tory Govt. let hospitals crumble, lest we forget.
- Lee, Sheffield, England
Let the side down there, Lee. Where's the mention of matron? Surprised that one got through the moderators, but well done indeed.
The last time my wife was in hospital, with a serious head injury, the only time she saw nurses was a the drug round,
What did you expect? Them standing over her, cooing, fanning her with palm fronds?
Each time I visited there were at least four nurses at the nurses station talking or filling in forms.
I think you'll find that's called 'work'.
A patient in the next bed, who was underweight and supposed to be on a special diet, was allowed to chose only stewed fruit as a main meal.
Really? Or not. And what's this got to do with nurses anyway?
I watched my 89 year old aunt die in a horrendous ward full of old dying people
No shit. What did you expect, for her to die in the maternity ward?
Oh dear! I sincerely hope this 'Tory' Peer does not have to go back into hospital for anything in the very near future!
Quite a damning attack on some very caring, underpaid and mainly over worked nurses!
In this day and age, Lord Tony, cleaning is left to cleaning staff and nursing is left to more qualified people!
Have a go at the cleaning contractors for leaving wards unclean not nurses!
Personal hygiene is exactly what it states, personal but I must say, I really cannot believe nurses would touch patients with obviously dirty hands and nails, it goes against their training!
As for talking about their previous night of drink and debauchery - do your 'toff' friends and acquaintances not do exactly the same?
- Keith, Winchester, UK
A dissenting voice, that's interesting. Maybe Fridays are the days when the moderators are a bit more lenient.
Baroness Thornton paints a portrait of fantasy. Of course she has to say it, much like Russians under Stalin had to praise the prosperity and vast advances made in the USSR. If she doesn't, the government will put her in the Gulag. Has she no shame? I bet she didn't even blush. Lord Mancroft's words of truth hit her in the ears and went straight through without registering a thought.
- Simon, Bath, Avon
Ah yes, the textbook 'NuLab=Stalin' manoeuvre. Beautifully executed, Simon.
When I was a young man in the early fifties, I married a nurse; things were so different then. Every girl training to be a State Registered Nurse had to have a certain level of education and those who had not achieved this level, could only become State Enrolled Nurses. Nurses were trained to care and take responsibility. If the cleaners had not done their work well, for example, Sister ensured that the nurses did it, so high were the standards. Hospitals were immaculate and ruled over by Matron, to whom the ward sisters were answerable. Matron's daily round was a feared ritual. Now nurses hide behind banks of computers, wards are often filthy and as Lord Mancroft says - nobody seems to be responsible. Matron has disappeared, to be replaced by highly paid, office bound "executives", who rarely show good hands on management. Paper statistics and PC rules. Proper nursing care seems too often, to have gone out of the window.
Bring Back Matron! Kerching! But...
Coming from a Tory - the party that brought the NHS to its knees - that's pretty rich!
Before we start getting the 'bring back matrons' comments - matrons have been in place for several years now, almost all trusts have them - although they are not always called matrons.
- Leannie, Leeds, UK
More dissent. What do you think this is, a forum for reasonable debate?
Not so long ago the term "Nurse" was almost sacrosanct and it would be a brave person who criticised the nursing profession. Today it is common practice to do so. Nowadays nurses have to have degrees and having got one they feel above doing what nurses have always down.
Utter bullshit. Modern nurses with degrees do much more complicated and responsible tasks than in the 'good old days'; cleaners are meant to clean. That's the idea of the whole thing. Do you see? Do you buggery.
Ordinary people brand Britain's peers 'lazy, corrupt and drunk' (at their heavily-subsidised Houses of Parliament bars).
One overworked and severely underpaid nurse said, "I'm sure there are peers who are perfectly decent and do actually work, but like most politicians today (and always), the vast majority are shameless, idle, megalomaniac hooray Henrys who have never had to work or live in the real world in their silver spoon-fed lives and get a major shock when they come down to join the paroles for a day or two."
Perhaps next time Lord Mancroft could try attacking the introduction of tiers of useless overpaid managers, contracting out of cleaning services, constant budget cuts, etc that means many, many excellent nurses are leaving the NHS to work in the private sector or going abroad where they're paid a decent wage.
- Ruth, Glasgow, Scotland
I trained as a nurse in the early 8's - we still had Matrons then, and my god they kept us focussed on the job. Worst thing ever was to introduce administrators with no nursing experience. Easy to fix - bring back Matron, train the nurses on the ward, not in universities.
- Liz Smith, Sydney
Bring Back Matron! (PS Nurses are trained on wards as well as universities. Three years of full-time unpaid work on top of a degree. Try that and see how many chuckles you'd have. Which you would know if you were still in the UK, not in Australia, whose nurses have far fewer responsibilities). Ah well, the dissent couldn't last forever.
No doubt this snobbish peer and wife gave the nurses a hard time and expected to be treated like a special private patient.
- Marianne, London
Oh, maybe not. Well, that was a refreshing debate. Yes, a few 'Bring Back Matron!' cobblers comments, but luckily some others to balance it out.