Learning moments

My learning today has been of little moments. Moments of noticing 2 smallish rectangular translucent boxes on the wall of my local Sainsbury’s, just through the checkouts. I was expecting at least one of them to be a defibrillator as we seem to accept now that NHS Ambulances won’t get to us in life-saving minutes so we are giving this responsibility to our fellow members of the public. It was a first for me as it was labelled ‘Body fluids.’ I wonder what it contains as I should imagine you could run around the supermarket and gather quite a lot of water, glucose (in the form of energy drinks or Lucozade) and there you have ‘body fluids.’  I’m going to gather more details as I feel I need to know, and will post my investigation results.  As McNeillie says in the introduction to Virginia Woolf’s ‘The Common Reader,’ passivity is the pitfall that readers must at all costs avoid so if you already know what’s in such containers, their locations and situations for use please let me know.

I’ve been thinking about accountability as I received my copy of the Nursing & Midwifery Council’s Guidance on the professional duty of candour. And I find the associated easyread guide of The Code for the public quite unsettling. I’m suddenly transported back to my old school Janet and John books. I know the healthcare system is complicated to manoeuvre and understand, and, I know we are all getting older, but come on NMC. Have a look for yourself here. So, anyway,accountability is complicated ‘so complicated says a recent King’s Fund Report that those working in the system are confused by it.’ See the third bullet point in the Key Findings on this page. We all want more accountability, but what form do we want it to take? I’m not sure that the performative and ‘heads will roll’ approach is my preferred option. I like the idea of engendering higher levels of personal accountability where we work or engage with ‘human organisations.’ I read of a long haul airline pilot who was having trouble sleeping between flights. He fell asleep in the cockpit, only for a very short time and, there were no safety issues. He reported himself to his airline managers. Their reaction was to review the long haul rota’s. I want to fly with that airline. When I find the newspaper cutting again I’ll scan it into a future blog. Oh, just in case you’re wondering No, he wasn’t sacked.

Oh, I came across a form on a website where the drop down list of ‘year of birth’ started at 1950!! Hooray, not much scrolling needed there then. Yes, just in case you’re wondering, the list did scroll both ways. It didn’t go back as far as the 1880’s thou’ as a friend told me she’d experienced!

All this talk reminds me of the marvellous book by Jon McGregor, ‘If nobody speaks of remarkable things,’ which recently featured on BBC Radio 4 Bookclub.


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