Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown

95 years old.  Test Pilot.  Just bought a sports car ‘and really loving it’.

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Here’s Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown at the recording of Desert Island Discs – the 3000 edition (on i Player – here – Desert island Discs today )

You will be amazed at the content – and makes me feel rather inadequate and would prefer to think he is fibbing!!! You will never want to retire if you follow his philosophy…life is for living.

Some highlights – (Just the questions form Kirsty Young give you the flavour)

“So, what was it like being at the liberation of Belsen?”

“The 1936 Olympics must have been a sight”

“You carried out the first supersonic flight?”

“You still hold the record for the number of take offs and landings on aircraft carriers?”

“And you looped the loop through all three spans of the Forth Bridge?”

“Your current partner you said – she hasn’t hung her coat on a rattly hook has she? – as we say?”

There is more – so much more – and it is just lovely.  Big cup of tea and a few hon nobs – just stop work for 45 minutes and be truly inspired.  An absolute joy!

Jane Cummings, Chief Nurse. Health Chat at The Kings Fund

OK. Another brilliant health chat with Roy Lilley leading the post Paxman era interviewing. We all knew what questions he would be asking, and specifically about the 6 Cs, which was obvious to ask, and vital to be answered .  Jane is The Chief Nurse for NHS England .

Roy and Jane - taking questions

Roy and Jane – taking questions

Roy knew his audience was very Nurse dominant…but it didn’t stop him being heavy! That’s what you pays for? Anyway, here are my (obviously personal) highlights.

  • There was obvious and real passion from Jane. So, that’s what you would expects from ‘a nurse’? Not if you read the Mail or the Express! No one will write about the 99.7% of times when it goes right…it doesn’t sell.  She talked about her own personal (very) experiences of care and it shows in her attitude.
  • We need to sort out some of the garbage that goes with the imbecility of having 96 nurse specialists in one trust, with 43 titles. One trust had simplified to two…and everyone agreed that was a logical progression (more of that later)
  • Talk of a national nurse uniform kept rearing its head – because there had been a focus group with some of the audience there in the afternoon before our meeting. No idea of the outcome, but hey, I’m sure Roy will write about it in his e newsletter (not Blog…he’s move beyond that…he told us)
  • Yet Jane did not bandage her Teddy as a young girl. She practiced on her long suffering younger brother….who is still suffering fear of the medical profession as a result!!! (I made that bit up)
  • Much discussion about do we need caring to be a degree. Most nurses enjoy the confidence it seems to give in them from their colleagues as they a degree qualified.

Now, my opinions:

  • HCA or old fashioned SEN &SRN…could that be a way forward, as long as we can make the HCA registered against a set of competencies? It is so difficult to ignore the 7 intelligences. Some people are born caring, but are not academic.  It is foolish to exclude them from nursing compassion.
  • Lots of experienced nurses are de-registering. Find out why (maybe they are just knackered, as Roy implied…). If so sort out the staffing…and make every manager work 4 days a year(after training) as a ward auxiliary as a contractual requirement. and they don’t leave until the shift (12 hours if it is so) is over. And one of those 4 days has to be a night shift.
  • And if they don’t, they forgo,their bonus
  • We need a simple structure for specialist nurses that has career progression built into it. 3 levels. Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Consultant Nurse.  Competency based. And Consultant paid as such.
  • We can’t always measure everything. If the values that underpin the 6 C’s are good and real they will affect behaviours, which infects attitudes, which creates the right climate which will eventually change culture.
  • Nurses do good. They enable people to live the life they want to live. Doctors are less important to health outcomes. They start the fix. Nurses make sure the fix sticks.

Loved it. Thanks all.