We are told that staff at two leading British hospitals are wearing ‘age simulation suits’ so to better ‘understand’ the problems facing old people. They also trained using the centre’s SimMan – a talking, breathing, blinking computer-controlled ‘manikin’ which creates scenarios common on older care wards – and staged scenes alongside actors posing as patients and relatives.

Heidi Jensen, of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust, said the ground breaking two-week experimental training programme would help build the specific skills required to care for older patients with complex needs.

We are not told how much this ludicrous exercise costs the taxpayer, probably because we just would not understand the necessity of spending large sums of cash on unproven, complex and hugely expensive ‘scenarios’, as the ‘experts’ so obviously do. We can however reasonably estimate costs which would run, if I am any judge of the usual suspects, into many, many thousands of pounds sterling.

If they really wish to understand what elderly patients really feel; if they truly desire to find out how age affects older people, why don’t they just ask any old person what they think? If they found an equivalent to me, for example, in the ‘patient’ patient queue at Guy’s Hospital, he would be able to tell them the following needs, thoughts and desires, as written with only a few moments of preparedness:

  • I hate some young clown speaking to me as though I have a mental age of about five, just because the colour of my hair is silver.
  • I detest beyond all belief the idea that the patient must be the last person to be told of any imminent problem within their body. Everyone else gets a chance to crawl all over the records, the diagnosis, the test results, and then, if you are very lucky, you get told the facts; but only if you are very lucky.
  • I detest the whole notion of the sacred NHS queuing system, from which there is no appeal, no possibility of an early referral; you are given a date, and again if you are very lucky, and the system doesn’t set you back three months on some computerised whim, get to see a specialist.
  • The whole idea that the medical people are told what to do, and when to do it, by a bunch of people who are titled ‘management’, should be uprooted and thrown in the trash can. Medical people should be able to prioritise on their own, without reference to any civilian ‘authority’ whatsoever.
  • Any member of staff of the NHS, whether Trust, hospital, GP, nursing or even down to civilian service provider, who does not report abuse or neglect within a medical or nursing environment shall face criminal proceedings along with the abusers.
  • No senior member of Trust or NHS management, if implicated in a scandal such as Staffordshire, will be able to walk away with pay-offs, pensions, backhanders or anything. They should face summary punishment, and should also be forced to work in the dirtiest jobs available, so as to allow them to learn how people should be treated!
  • All union activity should be barred from operation within the NHS.

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