Hospital staff should allow themselves big pat on the back

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Finally, some good news coming from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as we read staff have achieved something many thought impossible…that is to say our hospital is likely be removed from the ‘special measures’ register when their case is reviewed by the healthcare regulator, Monitor.

If all goes to plan, the ’QE’ will be permitted to take the first steps towards a new dawn where patients don’t enter the place with trepidation or leave with an infection of some sort. Edward Libbey, chairman of the hospital trust chose his language carefully when he described the announcement as a ‘fairly’ momentous day and went on to express a few low-key words about the future, describing it as one small step on a huge journey. Obviously, Mr Libbey is not a man given to hyperbole; he’s probably feeling the need to inject a note of caution in case the staff take their eye off the ball and allow the curse of special measures to return as has happened in other hospitals.

Credit where it’s due! Staff should allow themselves a big pat on the back in achieving this turnaround which now means that although the ignominy of special measures has probably been lifted, the hospital remains rated as ‘requiring improvement’ so the work must continue unabated.

Health issues remain on West Norfolk’s agenda as a controversial initiative to reduce the number of idiots who persist in smoking in the presence of children subjecting them to the poisonous muck they exhale with every thoughtless puff of their fags and at the same time reinforcing an image of a world where smoking is normal and acceptable. The pro-smoking nutters at the ‘smoker’s rights’ group, Forest claimed this project is patronising and a waste of public money. Although I must defend their Spokesman’s right to object, I can’t see he’s got a leg to stand on and in any case it’s distinctly possible that with blood clots and clogged arteries he might end up with mobility issues of his own if he continues to choke his lungs with tar and noxious chemicals. Smoking is an issue that divides people into two basic camps, those who know precisely what a long-term smoking habit does to a person and those who remain utterly in denial that there is a problem because, as victims of the tobacco industry, they’re trapped on their forty-a-day rollercoaster, unable to get off.

For many smokers, the ride stops at the entrance to the Queen Elizabeth where they find themselves being wheeled into hospital past a coughing and wheezing ‘guard-of-honour’ as their fellow sufferers hover around the exits in their jim-jams and slippers desperately sucking the last of their cigarettes into their lungs before shuffling back to their ward for another whiff of the oxygen bottle to supplement the efforts of chronically tarred up lungs.

However hard you try to justify it as a basic human right you’ll never convince me that smoking near children is anything but blatant child abuse! Discuss!