The Neo-Puritan Impulse…

An investigation has been launched at Frenchay Hospital after nurses were involved in an “inappropriate” stunt.

I shudder to think….

A nurse was tied to a commode while mess from a bowl was poured over her head in what has been described as a “well-meaning send-off”.

So, what’s the problem?

But a passing visitor to the hospital was concerned that staff were behaving in such a manner rather than caring for patients and reported the incident.The woman who witnessed the incident described it as “distressing“.

She said: “If all the staff were out side cheering, who was watching the patients?

“I have a sick relative whom I was visiting and found this behaviour unacceptable and very distressing.”

Wow! Savour that!

It didn’t occur to her to wonder if indeed all the nurses were outside (and god knows, it’s not like they can’t ignore and neglect their patients just as well inside, is it?), nor to go and inquire of them what provision they’d made to ensure cover while they had a harmless send-off, oh no.

She skipped straight to the pursed-lipped, ‘tut’ing outrage.

In response to the concerns North Bristol NHS Trust chief executive, Ruth Brunt, said: “We do not condone this type of behaviour from our staff and I would like to apologise to the member of the public who witnessed this.

“It would appear that these nurses were participating in a well-meaning send off to mark their colleague’s last shift.

“However this happened at an inappropriate time and place and was clearly a serious error of judgement.

This is a ‘serious error of judgement’? This? A bit of fun to send off a colleague?

Regulator the Nursing and Midwifery Council said: “This is not the type of behaviour we would expect to see from nurses and the Nursing and Midwifery Council code makes it clear that nurses and midwives must uphold the reputation of the profession at all times.”

So they get scolded for a few hi-jinks where no-one comes to harm, yet the almighty Council stays silent while patients are starved on wards, both accidentally and deliberately

Strange priorities indeed.

10 comments for “The Neo-Puritan Impulse…

  1. August 22, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Oh Christ. Lower your bedpans and surrender your pranks – resistance is futile.

  2. August 22, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Leaving aside all the puritanism and outrage – would you like to be tied down and faeces from a sick patient poured over your head and in particular, your face? I wonder how you would react?

    • Hye
      August 22, 2011 at 9:42 am

      I really don’t think actual faeces were involved in this. Seriously.

    • GiT
      August 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

      The article says “mess from a bowl” it doesn’t say faeces. My guess is that nurses are highly unlikely to risk the health of a colleague they are giving a “well meaning send off” to. It was most probably unpleasant looking but harmless gunk.

      • August 22, 2011 at 10:02 am

        Where does it say the mess was food? Even if so and I’ll bow to your wider reading here on this matter, the question still stands – would you like that done to you?

        • August 22, 2011 at 10:50 am

          James, I think it’s highly unlikely that the ‘mess’ was anything harmful, and at any point, if the employee didn’t wish to take part, they could surely have made their feelings known?

        • August 22, 2011 at 11:36 am

          This sounded to me like a nursing version of the kind of equator/date line crossing ceremony sailors get up to looked that way from the pictures too). Highly unlikely to be any kind of biological waste and probably nothing worse than uncooked baked beans or flour and water with food dye added to make it look more repulsive. Would I like it done? Difficult question. I’ve worked in somewhere where some kind of send off was to be expected, and since nobody wanted to be involved in anything that went too far the unspoken rule was that people who weren’t liked didn’t get any kind of send off at all I’d have been disappointed if I hadn’t had to wear the meringue and bread pudding hat or whatever while riding to a room service trolley around the service corridors. That didn’t make cleaning my clothes and hair afterwards less of a pain, but… 😕 hard to explain, but actually it sort of did make it less of a pain. Yes, it’s the same kind of buck’s/hen’s night mentality that has people made to wear enormous balloon penises all night or a stripper pull your face into a large (probably enhanced) cleavage full of whipped cream. And yes, sometimes it does cross the line and friendships are lost or maybe even charges are brought, but that’s probably the exception. However, in this instance it seems that it was a third party who got upset because some nurses dared to be not nursing someone and were buggering about instead. That they might not have been on duty seems not to have occurred to the Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells East Bristol who made the complaint.

  3. August 22, 2011 at 9:51 am

    One law for nurses and onviously a different one for Sally Bercow who can be as inappropriate as she likes.

    • August 22, 2011 at 10:51 am

      She has no reputation to lose… 😀

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