Posted by: Witch Doctor | January 14, 2009

The metrics of a smile


When did “The Metric” Blue Bottle Spell appear on the scene?

Can you remember, My Black Cat?

Do you know which witch is responsible for it?

I don’t think it was doing it’s rounds a year ago……

Now there’s a related one – “Smiley Metrics” 🙂


“How do you measure a smile? Although something of an oversimplification, this is one of the questions the government is currently grappling with as it attempts to develop measures – or metrics – with which to rate the performance of nurses and the quality of the services they provide within the health service.

As part of its consultation, which aims to measure quality rather than just quantity in the NHS, Department of Health mandarins hope to come up with a formula that measures nurses on how compassionate they are towards patients.”

And now Mr Alan Johnson is making an extremely profound observation:

“If your experience involves nurses looking grumpy, or someone being rude, or not getting people there when you need them, then it ruins the whole experience,’ he added.”

The “Patient Experience” Blue Bottle Spell will soon run out of steam, I reckon.

Wonder what will take its place My Black Cat.

Ah, How about this:  “measuring the essence of nursing” or maybe “the metrics of the essence of nursing.”

Which spell do you prefer, My Black Cat?

You want to get rid of “Metrics”…..

You don’t like “Metrics”

OK. I’ll cast the “measuring the essence of nursing” Blue Bottle Spell at a committee somewhere near Land’s End, and you nip up to John o’ Groats on my old broomstick and see if you can catch it there!

Hey, My Black Cat, what is the “safety measurement category – failure to rescue?”

Would allowing a quadriplegic patient to fall out of bed on three consecutive nights considered to be “failure to rescue” My Black Cat?

Or would falling out of bed, and wailing on the floor unable to move, be “A Good Patient Experience” as long as the patient was rescued from the floor in due course by a nurse with a “Smiley Metric” lighting up her face?

So many events that amount to neglect happen within the wards, that we find the idea of “Smiley Metrics” offensive, Mr Johnson.

We are very aware of many of these events.

Possibly more aware than most.

And we know how they can be stopped, My Black Cat and I.

However, doubtless you prefer to channel lumps of  the voters money into the coffers of some NHS partners somewhere, equipped with some modern type of Abacus that will make them rich.

Prioritise, Mr Johnson.

You have a limited amount of taxpayers money!

Caring for the sick is not designed to prop up the economy.

Remember that!

redapple.jpg a red apple ……………………

The Witch Doctor – Link to a random page






  1. […] might be why a few doctors seem preoccupied when you first meet them and consequently fail “The Smiley Metric” […]

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