Natural products for sexual dysfunction: Everyone looks for natural products that may help with a minor symptom or ailment and this is true especially for conditions that modern medicine does not seem to do a good job with. Sexual dysfunction and decreased libido is one area that is often the subject of looking for relief from natural products. For a discussion of these and other natural products and their effect upon sexual dysfunction, click here.
Rise in complaints against the hospital: Complaints about Medway Maritime Hospital are on the increase. Statistics published by the Medway NHS Trust have shown that the number of recorded complaints has risen over the past four years. More on this here.
NHS Shake-up: Health authorities will be cut by two thirds and National Health Service regional offices abolished within the next three years in the latest NHS shake-up. By 2004 the existing 99 local health authorities will be dissolved and merged into 30 to 35 new strategic authorities each with responsibilities for about 1.5 million people The responsibility for commissioning hospital services for their populations will pass to Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). Eventually about 400 PCTs, led by general practitioners, will buy services from the existing 326 hospital trusts.
Hospital Good Grub Guide? : During 1999 the Department of Health surveyed 112,000 patients who had been seen in hospital with heart disease. The percentage of patients that said that the hospital food was very good or fairly good in Medway Maritime Hospital was 73%.
Read the full survey here. (Needs PDF reader–download it free here)
The other 27% should visit Helen’s British Cooking Site which is an internet book of British cooking contains hundreds of recipes, tips and articles about British food. Click on Cookbook to find recipes for Cornish pasties, bubble and squeak, corned beef hash, toad in the hole, Welsh rarebit, Brown Betty, luxurious bread and butter pudding, Dorset cream toast, traditional porridge, tartan trifle, spotted dick and many more mouthwatering morsels, plus foodie quotations, complete menus and conversion charts. With apologies to the ‘Curry Lobby’!
Hospital cleaning up its act The hospital has been given a higher rating with regards to the environment around the hospital by the Patient Environment Action Team. Download the full PEAT report here.
(Needs PDF reader–download it free here)
“The wonderful Trust strikes again”: This comment was made by somebody who has worked regular hours for the Trust for over a year. This person works the same hours and the same days as regular full-time staff. However, the difference is that the Trust has been employing this person on an ‘As and When’ contract and this is a good example of what the Trust really thinks of its staff. It uses this to avoid meeting their legal statutory obligations regarding employees rights. This person was off sick for 2.5 days and received the grand sum of £8.10 pay – less than 50p an hour! This persons comment “It really shows what they think I’m worth doesn’t it? In fact I think I would rather have not been paid at all than to be insulted in this way” just about sums it all up.
NHS managers misspend millions: HEALTH service managers have been found guilty of illegally using NHS money or assets at least 33 times since 1994 but the Government has released only the barest details of the illegalities. More on this here.
Part Time Workers Rights: New Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, effective from July 1st 2000 aims to ensure Part-Time Workers are treated no less favourably than equivalent full time employees. Under the regulations, where a fixed-term employee who has been continuously employed on fixed-term contracts for four years or more is re-engaged on a fixed term contract without his continuity being broken, the new contract has effect under the law as a permanent contract.
To comply with the law, part-timers should not be treated less favourably than comparable full-timers in terms of:
Calculating the rate of sick pay or maternity pay;
The length of service required to qualify for payment;
The length of time the payment is received;
Employers should not exclude part-time staff from training simply because they work part-time;
Training should be scheduled so far as possible so that staff, including part-timers, can attend;
The contractual holiday entitlement of part-time staff should be pro rata to that of comparable full-timers;
Contractual maternity leave and parental leave should be available to part-timers in the same way as for comparable full-timers;
Careers break schemes should be available to part-timers in the same way as for comparable full-timers, unless their exclusion is objectively justified on grounds other than their part-time status;
The criteria used to select jobs for redundancy should be objectively justified, and part-timers must not be treated less favourably than comparable full-timers;
Employers must not discriminate between full-timers and part-timers over access to pension schemes, unless different treatment is justified on objective grounds;
Part-timers should receive the same hourly rate of overtime pay as comparable full-timers, at least once they have worked more than the normal full-time hours;
Part-timers should receive the same hourly rate as comparable full-timers.
Expensive expenses? Word reaches this website that people connected with the payroll department are a little miffed at an NHS Trust Manager who earns quiet a lot of money and who puts in expense claims (which he/she is entitled to do) for petty amounts. Claims for £1 and £1.50 are not uncommon but it costs more to process the claims than the claims are worth. What gets them is the fact that Trust Managers are quiet prepared to deny entitlements to the ordinary employees if they can get away with it and they go on and on about ‘making sacrifices’ and ‘tighten belts’ but don’t appear to be applying it to themselves, the top earners in the organisation.
Medical blunders hit 1 in 10 NHS patients: ONE in 10 patients is the victim of a medical mistake while in NHS hospitals. They are given the wrong diagnosis, the wrong drugs or the wrong treatment. Almost 70,000 patients a year die partly as a result of “adverse events” they suffer during hospital stays. more on this here.
‘French Health Service is Best’: France performs well on almost all health status measures, and when the World Health Organisation ranked world healthcare systems in 2000, France came top. Out of all the other leading European countries, the UK has the widest gap between the standard of care available to the poor and that enjoyed by the rich. more on this here
Trust’s Folly: A letter called ‘Trust’s Folly’ has been circulating around the hospital and was passed on to this website. We do feel that a sense of humour is necessary in order to cope with everyday life in the hospital. If anybody out there has anything humorous that they feel would bring a smile to otherwise unhappy hospital faces, please do share it with us to add to ‘Trust’s Folly’ click here for a read and a smile. Visit the ‘Jest Health’ website to read research showing that ‘humour can stimulate the immune system, enhance perceptual flexibility, and renew spiritual energy’. It describes the therapeutic consequences of using humour as a self-care tool to cope with stress. A ‘must’ for Trust managers!
Bomb Threat: I don’t know if many of you have read the Medway NHS Trust document on ‘Action to be taken on receipt of a Bomb Threat’? It was sent in by a staff member who felt it was put together by somebody who hasn’t a clue what its like to have a little surprise like that landed on you. It runs more like a consumer survey and I’m not too sure the bomber will stay on line to partake in the survey. Why did you place the bomb? What will cause it to explode? What does it look like? Where is the bomb placed? What kind of bomb is it? When will it explode? There’s even a caller age group category:- Child; Youth; 20-30; 30-40; 40-50; 50-90. “Excuse me Mr Mad-Lunatic-Bomber but what age group category do you belong to? If somebody places a bomb and they ring you up to tell you, a) they just want to blow the hell out of the building, b) they don’t want to blow the hell out of people, c) they are not interested in taking part in your survey as they have other things on their mind. If it’s a false bomb threat nobody will get hurt anyway. Your first reaction should be to tell everybody to get the hell out of there not “Thank you. Would you mind waiting until I locate my Bomb Threat Form and a pen” and spend 30 minutes trying to get answers out of a madman/madwomen so you can fill in your questionnaire. “O.K. So its due to explode in 3 minutes. That’s that section finished. Now I just need to find out what age group category you belong in and confirm the exact wording of the threat …..”.
Health and Safety Executive report: The preliminary report from the HSE was very favourable to Nuclear Medicine, X-ray and Control of Ionising Radiation, Control of cyto-toxic drugs, elimination from the Trust of glutaraldehyde and the latex strategy. However, Improvement Notices were issued to the Trust concerning Manual handling, Hot water and Legionella, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH), and the Management of Clinical waste. The full report included recommendations for the Trust on how to improve their compliance with Health & Safety legislation. The improvement notices were lifted on 11th April 2001 following a further inspection by the Health & Safety Executive.
Random drug tests for doctors: The NHS is cracking down on substance abuse at work and doctors and nurses face random testing for drink and drugs under radical plans being drawn up by the National Health Service.
Staff Moral There has been a lot of feedback to this web site regarding staff moral. Why are so many staff leaving? A complete lack of care and concern for the staff, by the Trust, seems to be the number one reason. For example, some office staff have had their hours reduced from 37 hours per week to 35 hours per week. This reduces their take home pay but they still have to work 37 hours before they qualify for overtime payments.
Managing Your Debts Lets face it – Auxiliary staff, Medical staff and Medical students employed in the NHS are not among the top earners in the country (unless you are a Trust Manager). Just talking to people in the hospital makes it very clear that life can be a struggle to survive on the pittance paid by the NHS. All it takes is one misstep to fall into a sinkhole of debt. Unfortunately, it may take several moves – some painful – to claw your way out. There are things you can do to begin the long journey back. Find out more here.
Hospital Violence The Medway NHS Trust, while doing all that it can to provide an efficient and effective healthcare service that meets the demands of the local community, is sending out a clear message to the public that it is totally committed to the safety of all staff at work and has a zero tolerance policy to any acts of violence, physical or abusive. Rise in attacks on staff ‘blighting NHS’
Personnel Changes Mr Anuj Dogra is the new Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon. Professor Robert Worcester has been appointed as a Non Executive Director of the Trust. Mr Gulzar Mufti is the new Clinical director for Surgical Specialties. Felim McCarthy is the new assistant director for Information Technology (IT).
Car Parking There are proposals to provide an additional 200 to 250 car parking spaces by building a single deck over the existing car park at the front of the hospital. Planning permission has been granted and it is hoped that building should start in September.
Extra Nurses Fifteen qualified nurses from the Philippines joined the Trust on November 30 after working in Kuwait. They join the 25 Philippine nurses that arrived in Medway on November 2nd. Lets hope everything lives up to their expectations!
Filipino nurses failed to make the grade Four Filipino nurses have been sacked from the Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, three months after they arrived to work, a London paper reported.
Nurse’s blunder kills patient A nurse who was brought from the Phillippines to work at the Medway Maritime Hospital killed a patient when she gave her morphine intended for a cancer sufferer with the same Christian name. More on this here.
Cancellation of operations to remove tonsils The Department of Health has recently advised hospitals that, as a precautionary move, single use disposable instruments are to be introduced during this year for operations to remove tonsils and or adenoids. This is because the particles (Prions) associated with vCJD have been found in the tonsils and adenoids of some people who suffer from this disease. Prions are particularly resistant to all forms of sterilisation and there may be a minuet risk of the disease being transmitted via surgical instruments.
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