NHS Hospital Staff Research Catalyst for Change, or Just Another Useless Initiative?

Andrew Kingston and Karen Wisdom
Peter Barton
People At Work Group
Vanessa Hine
East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust

For every idealisation of hospital life epitomised in Richard Gordon's Doctor books; for every Dr. Kildare; for every Dr. Nookie cheerfully camping it up in the CarryOn films; for every time Groucho Marx's horse doctor saves the day in the sanatorium in A Day at the Races; there's thousands of Accident and Emergency staff working in more pressurised, 'real' conditions. In contrast, and although undoubtedly busy, Star Trek's sick bay duo of Dr. McKoy and Nurse Chappell travelled to where 'no man has ever gone before'. Even the putupon Nurse Pratchet in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest worked a regular shift pattern.

Contemporary representations of the medical profession, such as the BBC's Casualty, shy away from frivolity, reflecting not only the public's predilection for grittier realism, but also, arguably, a recognition that there's nothing remotely funny or overly romantic about working in the health sector.

Not a good area to be in. stressed and exhausted.. can't see an end to it, due to staff numbers and working conditions.They are expected to work beyond capacity. Staff are disillusioned but continue to live in hope.
East Kent NHS Trust employee, 2001