Wednesday, 2 July 2008

This is absolutely ridiculous

There has been, down in sunny (joke, but I say it with love) Tasmania, a bit of a mess going on with the psychiatric ward at the Launceston General Hospital. I've only been keeping half an eye on this story and can't remember the details, but poor management, inadequate staffing and various predictably bad consequences as a result tend to feature prominently.

As part of dealing with this they will be taking the magnificent and world-changing step of (drum-roll please):

Renaming it.

Oh, you have got to be kidding me. I'm sure there are negative connotations attached to "Ward 1E" now, but changing the name? What will this solve, exactly? And how?

Yes, I know that labels are important, but I also believe that they're not nearly so important as people would like to think (Insert nasty joke about having an Arts education). I know people who still refer to Centrelink as the DSS or "Social Security". I still refer to that architecturally atrocious hotel down on Hobart's waterfront as the Sheraton despite the fact that it was changed to the Grand Chancellor when I was still in high school. It may be something else again now. I'm betting that in years to come there will still be people who hear whatever the new name is, laugh bitterly and so "Oh, that fucking psych ward?"

Here's my piece of advice, totally free: Fix it first. Changing the name while there are still problems will just attach negative connotations to the new name. Changing the name afterwards will do about as much good, but what the hell, you never know. It might work when all the current staff and patients are dead.

Link to the ABC News story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a new name for it... Lets call it the totally fucked up mismanaged looney bin. I believe in calling a spade a spade.
PS the fucked up loonies are the ones running it and the government for handing over millions to ?? improve the ward, in which the perpetrators of the violence and abuse are still employed!
The patients are the sane ones!!!

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