Friday, 13 June 2014

Hospital staff should recognise carers' skills and knowledge

Hospital staff should recognise carers' skills and knowledge Carers have knowledge and expertise not provided by NHS staff, yet they are not consulted in the hospital process

You might think that when the person they care for goes into hospital, carers would receive a period of respite. I don't find it so. My responsibilities continue during my partner's spells of hospitalisation, because while the resources of a major teaching hospital are focused on the problem that led to Victoria's admission (currently, an infected pressure sore), the longer term needs created by her multiple sclerosis don't go away. But they do tend to get disregarded by hospital staff.

A large teaching hospital is a self-contained, if not positively hermetic, system which doesn't really recognise outsiders as having any contribution to make. For example, I have tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to get the hospital's consultants to include the community tissue viability nurse in discussions of my partner's pressure sore. I want her involved because she is the person who will be my source of information on future management of the wound. She has monitored, and photographed, the sore's progress over the last five years rather than from the point of Victoria's recent admission; she will be the person who takes over management of the wound as soon as she leaves hospital; and she was the first to identify the underlying osteomyelitis that has prevented healing. Yet the hospital team don't feel it's important to include her. Continue reading... The Guardian

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