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Found 194 results
  1. Content Article
    There are three work programmes to explore workforce retention and configuration in healthcare. The first programme will combine and align multiple large datasets from 20 NHS trusts across secondary care and mental health and 10 ambulance trusts. This will enable the analysis of multiple variables and their effect on workforce retention, and how these variables, in combination with workforce retention, subsequently impact patient outcomes. The second work programme will involve designing and testing an infrastructure for the routine extraction, combination and analysis of these large datasets. This will enable the adoption of these techniques across the NHS. The nursing element (NuRS) will start first, with the ambulance staff (AmReS) element following approximately six months later. A third programme will examine the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on patient safety in terms of reporting behaviours, for example; and will explore how nursing and ambulance workforce configuration in response to a pandemic affects patient safety and quality of care. This project is a unique opportunity to unlock the key underlying drivers of nurse and ambulance retention and determine their impact on care quality, helping to tackle the challenge of supply in the NHS and ensure that high quality, sustainable care is available to all.
  2. Content Article
    Key points Recurrent nurse workforce shortages are a global issue, also in high-income countries. Implementation of safe staffing policy measures largely varies across the world. Mandated patient-to-nurse ratios are the most straightforward policy to ensure staffing levels. Our overview of policies from various high-income countries may guide future decision-making.
  3. News Article
    Nurses and essential healthcare staff could be left redundant in the middle of the pandemic as local authorities look to make changes to healthcare contracts that would leave patients facing major disruption, NHS bosses have warned. NHS Providers, which represents all NHS trusts, and NHS Confederation, which represents health and care organisations, said that the decision to put contracts for public health services out to tender as workers battle coronavirus in the community is “completely inappropriate” and a “damaging distraction”, creating uncertainty for those who have spent the past six months on the COVID-19 frontline. Shadow health minister Jonathan Ashworth told The Independent: “This process is disruptive and wasteful at the best of times, but to be doing this mid-pandemic is risky, unnecessary and undermines the ability of frontline health workers to focus not only on preparations for a potential second wave, but a whole host of other health issues, such as Covid rehabilitation, community mental health services and children’s health, all of which are now urgent priorities.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 1 September 2020
  4. News Article
    An 'expanded workforce' will be delivering flu and a potential COVID-19 vaccine, under proposals unveiled by the Government today. The three-week consultation also focuses on a proposal of mass vaccinations against COVID-19 using a yet-to-be-licensed vaccine, if one becomes available this year. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is hoping new legislation could come into effect by October, ahead of the winter season. The consultation proposes to amend the Human Medicine Regulations 2012 to "expand the workforce legally allowed to administer vaccines under NHS and local authority occupational health schemes, so that additional healthcare professionals in the occupational health workforce will be able to administer vaccines". It said this would include 'midwives, nursing associates, operating department practitioners, paramedics, physiotherapists and pharmacists'. The consultation said: "This will help ensure we have the workforce needed to deliver a mass COVID-19 vaccination programme, in addition to delivery of an upscaled influenza programme, in the autumn." The consultation also said that "there is a possibility that both the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered at the same time, and we need to make sure that in this scenario there is sufficient workforce to allow for this". Read full story Source: Pulse, 28 August 2020
  5. Content Article
    Don’t rush. You should never have to write and submit a statement immediately. It’s fine for an employer to set a deadline, but you should still have reasonable time to prepare your statement and get it checked by the RCN. Know what you’re writing about. You should be given a clear instruction or question in writing. If you haven’t been given this, ask for it. Consider if you’re at risk. If your conduct or practice is being questioned by your employer or agency, then – provided you were a member at the time of the incident – use the RCN’s statement checking service accessed via RCN Direct on 0345 772 6100. If you’re being asked to provide a statement purely as a witness, and you don’t believe there is any risk to you, simply follow the RCN guidance (link below). Be clear. Your statement should explain events from start to finish as clearly and simply as possible. Explain when things happened, who was there, and what you did, saw and heard. Try to avoid offering an opinion not based on facts. Be relevant. Do your best to answer the question or allegation you have been set. If you can’t remember something, say so. Very few people can perfectly recall every event that’s ever happened to them. Be compliant. If you’re a registered nurse, follow the National Midwifery Council's Code of Conduct, particularly the ‘Promote professionalism and trust’ section. Ensure you follow your employer’s local policies and confidentiality guidelines too. List all documents referenced in your statement. If possible, state where to find them. Format your statement. Add page and paragraph numbers, double space your lines and ensure pages have clear wide margins at each side. Check it. Review each paragraph carefully, checking that your statement only communicates exactly what was asked for or required. Look at whether you can provide evidence for the facts stated. Check the facts you provide are clearly and objectively explained. Keep a copy. You may need to refer to it in the future. The RCN’s statement writing guidance covers these tips in more detail, has a statement writing template you can use, and provides guidance on what to do if you are asked for a statement in other contexts such as if a coroner or the police ask you for a statement. Follow the link below for more information.
  6. Content Article

    Faded rainbows

    Claire Cox
    When driving to work at the beginning of the pandemic, I felt a sense of worry and apprehension of what I would be faced with. As a critical care outreach nurse I never know what I may be faced with, but this has never bothered me. However, during the pandemic it did bother me. I worried how I could do my job; would I get sick and how would I navigate my way through the new ways of working? Seeing the brightly coloured rainbows in people’s windows gave me some hope. I knew that the public were thinking of us; they knew the risks we were putting ourselves at and our families. For a time, I felt special. It sounds pathetic, I know. For a time, I felt valued. Valued by the public, valued by the trust I work for and valued by politicians. As NHS staff we had priority shopping, we had discounts from big stores, we had free parking, we had donations of food every day while we were at work, we were donated hand creams and toiletries. School children drew us pictures to put on the walls of our staff room saying ”thank you”. What made me feel valued more than anything was staff wellbeing being at the forefront. Extra staff were redeployed to work on the ITU, we were made sure we had all our breaks and we were made to feel that each and every one of us counted. Relatives of patients wrote and expressed their gratitude, even if they were unable to visit their dying family – they were truly grateful to us. The ITU where I work received so many beautifully written letters and cards. We pinned every one onto the wall so we were reminded that we were shining bright despite the darkness. Then there was the Thursday clap. Personally, I thought this was an odd thing to do, but it seemed to bring people together and have a shared purpose – even if it was for a fleeting 5 minutes a week. When I think back at those months, it seems like a lifetime ago. Eve Mitchell’s recent blog on the hub highlighted that care homes are receiving complaint letters and some are even receiving threats of litigation. “Not enough PPE”, “lack of care given to my family member”, “my family member was neglected during the pandemic” – frustration and anger are palpable. Frustration and anger because families were unable to visit their relatives in their last days, frustration and anger that these precious moments have been denied from them. If it were my mum or dad would I feel the same? Of course I would. I would be the loudest voice there. Is it the fault of the care home? Should they be vilified for the protection of their residents? And now it’s the turn of the hospitals. We now have over a million people waiting on lists for operations, procedures, appointments. Some have already waited months before the pandemic started. Some have already died as a result of not having surgery at the right time. Patients have received surgery and treatment late and this has led to complications and a longer hospital stay – which then increases their mortality. At some point the gratitude from the public will turn to anger and frustration, as it has with the care homes. Would I be angry if my mum was waiting for an operation and died as a result of a prolonged wait? Yes I would. It is a natural response to blame the very people who should have helped – the NHS staff. I now drive to work and see faded rainbows in windows, I will be paying for parking again in the next few weeks, the donations of food have dried up, staff are back at ‘normal’ levels and I am back to having no breaks some days, not to mention that nurses were not included in the recent pay rise. I feel that we have served our purpose. ‘Thanks very much – now get back to normal, sort the waiting lists out and work harder to make sure it happens’. I don’t envy our senior leaders in acute Trusts. They are stuck in the middle of the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England who are trying to fathom out a strategy to get the waiting lists down, and support frontline staff who are exhausted and a frustrated public that may erupt at any moment. Frontline workers have been through it the last few months. Navigating our way through complaints and litigation and an angry public who feel that they are not receiving the care that they expect in the coming months fills me with dread. We are not equipped. Faded rainbows – is this a representation of the fading support we are receiving in the NHS?
  7. News Article
    Women working in the NHS are suffering from serious stress and exhaustion in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, a troubling new report has found. Some 75% of NHS workers are women and the nursing sector is predominantly made up of women – with 9 out of 10 nurses in the UK being female. The report, conducted by the NHS Confederation’s Health and Care Women Leaders Network, warns the NHS is at risk of losing female staff due to them experiencing mental burnout during the global pandemic. Researchers, who polled more than 1,300 women working across health and care in England, found almost three quarters reported their job had a more damaging impact than usual on their emotional wellbeing due to the COVID-19 emergency. Read full story Source: The Independent, 25 August 2020
  8. News Article
    Nurses and non-medical staff have been stopped from taking patient calls to the NHS coronavirus helpline amid concerns over the safety of their advice. An audit of calls to the telephone assessment service found more than half were potentially unsafe for patients, according to a leaked email shared with The Independent. At least one patient may have come to harm as a result of the way their assessment was handled. The COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Service (CCAS) is a branch of the NHS 111 phone line and is designed to assess patients showing signs of coronavirus to determine whether they need to be taken to hospital or seen by a GP. The helpline was set up at the start of the pandemic to divert patients with symptoms to a phone-based triage to relieve pressure on GPs and prevent them from turning up at surgeries and spreading the virus. GPs, nurses and allied health professionals (AHPs) such as paramedics and physiotherapists were recruited to speak to patients after they were flagged by NHS 111 call handlers. The use of non-medical staff was first paused in July amid concerns about the quality of call handling. Now it has emerged much wider safety issues have surfaced. Read full story Source: The Independent, 18 August 2020
  9. News Article
    A damning new report has exposed numerous lapses in nursing care on wards at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust amid a culture which left patients at risk of “unsafe and uncaring” treatment, the care watchdog has said. Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) cited multiple examples of nurses at the scandal-hit trust lacking the knowledge to look after patients safely and failing to record key information needed to keep patients safe during an inspection of medical wards in June this year. The inspectors found poorly completed nursing records, equipment unavailable and nurses not following procedures. This meant some patients developed pressure sores, fell from their beds and were injured or suffered pain at the end of their life. Other patients were at risk of suffering similar harm. Inspectors ruled the trust, which was rated inadequate and put into special measures in 2018, was unsafe and criticised the hospital leadership for what it said was a “collective failure” that was perpetuating the problems at the hospital. Read full story Source: The Independent, 14 August 2020
  10. Community Post
    Way back in March I applied to re-join the NHS to help with COVID-19. I am a mental health nurse prescriber with an unblemished clinical record. I have had an unusual career which includes working in senior management before returning to clinical work in 2002. I have also helped deliver several projects that achieved nation recognition, including one that was highly commented by NICE in 2015, and one that was presented at the NICE Annual Conference in 2018. Several examples of my work can be found on the NICE Shared Learning resource pages. Since applying as an NHS returner. I have been interviewed online 6 times by 3 different organisations, all repeating the same questions. I was told that the area of work I felt best suited to working in - primary care/ community / mental health , specialising in prescribing and multi-morbidity - was in demand. A reference has been taken up and my DBS check eventually came through. I also received several (mostly duplicated) emails. On 29th June I received a call from the acute trust in Cornwall about returning. I explained that I had specified community / primary care as I have no recent acute hospital experience. The caller said they would pass me over to NHS Kernow, an organisation I had mentioned in my application. I have heard nothing since. I can only assume the backlisting I have suffered for speaking out for patients, is still in place. If this is true (and I am always open to being corrected) it is an appalling reflection on the NHS culture in my view. Here is my story: http://www.carerightnow.co.uk/i-dont-want-to-hear-anything-bad-whistleblowing-in-health-social-care/
  11. News Article
    The redeployment of health visitors to support the national coronavirus response has left remaining staff with increased workloads, worsened mental health and fears that the needs of children are being missed, a new survey has revealed. In the wake of Covid-19, University College London (UCL) gathered the views of 663 health visitors in England to find out how the pandemic had affected their work. Overall, 60% of respondents reported that at least one member of their team had been redeployed between 19 March and 3 June. Of teams that had lost staff, 41% reported that between six and 50 colleagues had been moved elsewhere during that period. The combination of increased caseloads and limited face-to-face contacts left “widespread concern” among health visitors that the needs of many children would be missed in the peak of the outbreak, found the survey. Study authors raised concerns about the “significant negative impacts” that increased workload and pressures had on staff wellbeing and mental health. Read the full article here.
  12. News Article
    Amid warnings that BAME nursing staff may be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) survey reveals that they are more likely to struggle to secure adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) while at work. The latest RCN member-wide survey shows that for nursing staff working in high-risk environments (including intensive and critical care units), only 43% of respondents from a BAME background said they had enough eye and face protection equipment. This is in stark contrast to 66% of white British nursing staff. There were also disparities in access to fluid-repellent gowns and in cases of nursing staff being asked to re-use single-use PPE items. The survey found similar gaps for those working in non-high-risk environments. Meanwhile, staff reported differences in PPE training, with 40% of BAME respondents saying they had not had training compared with just 31% of white British respondents. Nearly a quarter of BAME nursing staff said they had no confidence that their employer is doing enough to protect them from COVID-19, compared with only 11% of white British respondents. Dame Donna Kinnair, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary, said: “It is simply unacceptable that we are in a situation where BAME nursing staff are less protected than other nursing staff. Read full story Source: Royal College of Nursing, 27 May 2020
  13. News Article
    There has been a sharp rise in the number of nurses considering quitting the profession compared to this time last year, suggest results from a new survey. The research also found that “existing tensions” among the workforce appeared to have been “exacerbated” by the COVID-19 crisis. The survey findings feature in a new report published by Royal College of Nursing and cover the views of almost 42,000 of its members across the UK and Channel Islands. Of those who responded to the survey, 36% of nurses were thinking of leaving the profession, an increase from 27% reported in a similar piece of research carried out at the end of last year. When considering the reasons for quitting, 61% of staff indicated that the level of pay was the “main driver”, while others said they were dissatisfied with the way nursing staff had been treated during the pandemic (44%). Meanwhile, 43% of nurses cited low staffing levels and 42% a lack of management support as key reasons for wanting to leave nursing. Read full story Source: Nursing Times, 17 July 2020
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