Fran Adamson: Why I had to leave the NHS

We are both honoured by and grateful to the NHS staff and those working in the social care sector who are now approaching the UK Column to tell their stories and to share their experiences. 

Debi Evans welcomed the opportunity in this interview to speak to a fellow ‘old-school’ nurse who has been working in NHS Grampian (north-eastern Scotland) and who, like Debi, remembers the days when nurses held the hands of patients and treated them with respect and dignity.

The nurses of the old-style NHS offered ‘tender loving care’ in abundance. As vigilant observers, they were trained to touch patients in appropriate ways, feeling their pulse for rate, rhythm and volume; to check their temperature, not by sticking a gadget into their ear; to observe their colour and general condition, how their skin felt to the touch. They would count their respirations by watching their chest rise and fall, and would listen with their ears through a stethoscope while measuring their blood pressure with an old-fashioned sphygmomanometer. Would a recently-qualified nurse even know how to do that now, or spend one-to-one time with a patient?

Since the beginning of the ‘pandemic’, ethics, protocols, common sense, kindness and safe practice have appeared to vanish as quickly as Covid-19 appeared. As an example, a drug round was always carried out by two members of hospital staff, one of whom had to be a trained nurse. The drugs on the trolley and the ward-controlled drug cupboard were meticulously counted out, recorded, checked and double-checked before they ever got near the patients. The trolley was never left unattended. But that was then; this is now.

Frances Adamson BSc RGN, from the Aberdeen area, has a wealth of nursing experience. Since qualifying, she has undertaken a plethora of post-registration courses and training at Master’s degree level. After serving in an Operating Department as a specialist scrub nurse, she continued to train and to educate. Creating a new service is no easy mission; however, Fran did that very successfully, helping build a vital service for cardiac patients. Find out in this interview how the NHS rewarded her, and how her trade union, Unison, went about supporting her.

Also a nurse educator, Fran eventually moved from hospital work into primary care as a Controlled Drug Inspector, a role which required her to work with the Prison Service, GPs and community pharmacists. Latterly, she has been working as an Advanced Non-Medical Prescriber for NHS Grampian. Vaccines and medicine protocols are her area of expertise.

Sadly for all those living in Scotland who need committed nurses like her, Fran has handed in her resignation and is now serving out her notice. Having once been proud of her vocation, she suddenly found herself overcome with guilt and a knowledge that her very position within the NHS had been gravely and irreversibly compromised. The prime medical injunction Do No Harm was no longer applicable in this brave new NHS that she had found herself propelled into. Far from protecting patients, it was putting them in danger, sometimes leading to loss of life. 

In this exclusive UK Column interview, Fran waives her anonymity to tell the public what is going on in the Scottish NHS: how hospital corridors have become permanent informal wards, manned by paramedics. Find out why private medical care is not what you think it is; prepare to be shocked. Do parents know about the childhood immunisation schedule? Every parent should watch this interview to find out. Do you know what your baby or child is being jabbed with? How can one injection turn out to be six?

Fran reveals that for challenging the Government and NHS narrative for two years, questioning the rationale of her senior colleagues and managers, she found herself on the receiving end of disrespect, ridicule and unkind comments. As time went on, Fran found herself more and more alone, angry and isolated in an NHS which resembled not at all the NHS she had trained in.

She also sets out that people do not know whom they are seeing in the NHS: not all of those treating patients are properly qualified. The staff who are well-experienced are quitting. Would experienced nurses themselves go willingly into the arms of the NHS that trained them?

Fran’s moral compass no longer allows her to work in the NHS. She explains how she could not sleep at night and how her mental and physical health have been affected throughout the ‘pandemic’. Fortunately for her, she has a supportive family who have encouraged her to follow her instinct.

Once a nurse, always a nurse. Fran Adamson describes how she mourns her job, grieves for her colleagues still trapped within the NHS, and vocalises her worry for patients who rely on the NHS that she was once proud of. As Fran makes an emotional and heartfelt plea to her colleagues watching, we thank her for being the lone voice who represents many. We hope that through her courageous appearance, many more will come forward publicly to tell their truth. UK Column will treat them decently and confidentially.

We thank Frances Adamson for for standing firm and sacrificing her livelihood and vocation. The NHS will be a darker place without her, but she will sleep soundly at night, knowing she stood up when few others would or could.