Hospitals: Are You Fit To Die?

When Florence Nightingale arrived in Scutari, did she bring with her a legion of doctors or lorry loads of wonder drugs? NO, she just brought soap and clean water.  Hygiene and cleanliness were the weapons she used against disease, suffering and death.  She worked tirelessly and the mortality rate fell dramatically.

The point I am trying to make is this. Most improvements in public health have not been due to wonder drugs or brilliant doctors, but in lifestyle changes, increased hygiene and quality of life.

The major changes in Britain were firstly building of a sewerage system to take waste off the streets then having fresh clean water brought into people’s houses.  Vaccination rid us of polio, smallpox, measles, tetanus and typhoid.  These diseases have almost vanished, the Clean Air Act and testing cattle for bovine TB have reduced chest infections, and a healthy diet adds to people’s general well-being, and a reduction in smoking reduces heart disease.

However, hospitals seem to have lost sight of the basic concepts of good health.  Air conditioning keeps diseases confined inside buildings, where no fresh air is allowed.  Cleaning that most basic requirement of good health, has become the poor relation of our National Health Service.

So why are cleaners paid so little when cleaning is the most important step in any healthy system.  Soap and water not polishers that push the dirt around from one place to another or grind it into a nice shiny surface.

Giant hospitals have become almost unmanageable, daily we hear of outbreaks of one disease or another which, it turns out, could have been prevented with basic hygiene. You need to be very healthy before going into hospital, or they will kill you off.  Elderly patients are continuously the objects of abuse and maltreatment.  Nurses now wish to be junior doctors, no longer involved with the care and nursing of patients, they do not care if the ward is clean or filthy, it is someone elses responsibility.  isn’t it time we all went back to basics in hospitals, back to hospitals that are manageable and nurses who are proud to be nurses.

About michaeldouglasbosc

I am retired and live with my wife on a small olive finca in the middle of a forest in the mountains of Spain in Catalonya. I served 9years in the armed services, am an engineer and because of my love of navy sailing ships a naval historian of the 1700-1800's, plus the author of 10 books. When I retired I started writing adult books my first being A Soldiers Wind. Then came Stanley's story again adult books such was his life. Another book on life in the 1950's this very much an adult book. I have now returned to my love of the sea and my latest navy book 'A Plymouth Story' follows the life of Dr James Blackstock. But Clearing In The Forest is an historical fantasy set in the middle ages at the end of King Johns reign. All the books are published on Kindle and Create a Space in paperback. I have worked all my life and for relaxation I sailed a coastal yacht for many years, but deep inside me was a writer waiting to get out. So when I retired I started writing I find story telling both relaxing and - for me - a pleasure.
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