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Found 119 results
  1. News Article
    Doctors and midwives working in maternity services face higher levels of bullying than any other part of the NHS, MPs have been told. According to the General Medical Council, trainee doctors in maternity services report more than twice the level of bullying seen in the rest of the NHS while the Nursing and Midwifery Council said midwives were also more likely to be bullied. MPs on the Commons health select committee heard that the culture in some maternity units was a major barrier to improving safety and tackling poor care. In an evidence session as part of an ongoing inquiry into maternity care, MPs were also warned the lack of properly funded training was forcing some midwives to pay out of their own pocket. The inquiry by the committee was launched last year after repeated maternity scandals at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust and East Kent Hospitals University Trust. Giving evidence to the committee, Charlie Massey, chief executive of the General Medical Council said: “We do see in our data some quite troubling data around bullying." “If you are an obstetrics or gynaecology trainee, we see in our national training survey each year that some 14% report that they have experienced bullying – and that’s against an average for all trainees of 6%. You see more than double the rate of bullying in obstetrics and gynaecology than you do elsewhere.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 20 January 2021
  2. News Article
    For the last 10 months, everyone in healthcare has lived their lives as if they were trapped in a burning building without a fire escape. No matter how much water we throw on the fire or how many firefighters (healthcare providers in this instance) we send in, we cannot gain control of the flames. The catastrophic loss of life has been insurmountable, and we often haven’t had enough physicians to take care of everyone. This is not new for a healthcare system. For years prior to this pandemic, there has been a physician shortage in the United States that is expected to worsen over the coming years. The Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) predicts that the US could see a shortage between 54,000 and 139,000 physicians in both primary and specialty care by 2033. Although the total physician supply is expected to grow, it won’t be at a fast enough rate to outpace demand. This is where physician assistants (PAs) and advanced practice nurses (APRNs) come in. Many people don’t realise that PAs and APRNs have been around for over 50 years. For 50 years, a plethora of research has shown that PAs and APRNs are safe, reliable, high quality healthcare providers and essential members of the healthcare team. But too often critics claim that because they have not gone through physician training, they cannot provide exceptional medical and surgical care. In fact, they already do. A recent comprehensive review of PA and APRN outcomes from 2008 to 2018 found that PAs and APRNs had similar outcomes compared to physicians including hospital length of stay, readmission rates, quality and safety and patient and staff satisfaction. Read full story Source: The Hill, 16 January 2021
  3. News Article
    The family of a man who bled to death during kidney dialysis treatment at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital have said they believe lessons have been learned. Mohammed Ismael Zaman, known as Bolly, died after hospital staff failed to check the connection on his dialysis machine, despite it sounding an alarm after the catheter had become disconnected. During Mr Zaman’s treatment at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on October 18, 2019, his dialysis machine set off a venous pressure alarm. An unidentified member of staff reset the alarm without checking that the connection was still secure. As a result of the reset, Mr Zaman bled out for seven minutes losing 49% of his blood circulating volume. He was found unconscious in a pool of blood and despite resuscitation attempts, died two hours later. The coroner, Mr John Ellery concluded that the death was due to systems failure and individual neglect on the part of the unidentified staff member. Read full story Source: Shropshire Star, 16 January 2021
  4. News Article
    A mental health trust prosecuted for failings after 11 patients died must make further safety improvements, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said. Inspectors found safety issues on male wards and psychiatric intensive care units run by Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT). The Trust said it had taken "immediate action" to remedy the concerns. In November, EPUT pleaded guilty to safety failings related to patient deaths between 2004 and 2015. The CQC's report followed inspections in October and November last year at the Finchingfield Ward - a 17-bed unit in the Linden Centre in Chelmsford which provides treatment for men experiencing acute mental health difficulties. The CQC said the visit was prompted "due to concerning information raised to the commission regarding safety incidents leading to concerns around risk of harm". The inspection, which looked at safety only, found the following concerns: Some staff did not follow the required actions to maintain patient safety. Closed-circuit television showed staff who were meant to be observing were not present, and this contributed to an incident of patient absconding. Staff did not keep accurate records of patient care and managers did not check the quality and accuracy. of notes. Shifts were not always covered by staff with appropriate experience and competency Stuart Dunn, head of hospital inspection at the CQC, said EPUT had "responded quickly to concerns raised" including improving security measures. Read full story Source: BBC News, 14 January 2021
  5. Content Article
    Support material: Mental health care for medical staff and affiliated healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic Moral injury and the COVID-19 pandemic: reframing what it is, who it affects and how care leaders can manage it Moral injury. Psychoanalytic Psychology Moral Injury: The Invisible Epidemic in COVID Health Care Workers This film has been commissioned by the London Transformation and Learning (LTLC), a joint initiative between Health Education England and NHE England and NHS Improvement aimed at supporting the cross-skilling of the London NHS workforce to manage.
  6. News Article
    More than one in 10 hospital nurses are now off work in areas hard-hit by covid, according to internal data leaked to HSJ. The data shows the toal absence rate among acute trust nurses has risen steadily over the last month. Nationally the total absence rate among acute trust nurses was 9.7% as of Monday, up from around 7% at the start of December, pushed up by rapidly rising absences due to covid. These make up more than half of total absences, and have now hit rates last seen in early May. Senior NHS sources said staff absences are severely compounding operational pressures in the hardest hit regions, limiting hospitals’ capacity to operate more than is suggested in official bed capacity figures. The highest rate was in the East of England where 11.4% of nurses off work, with coronavirus accounting for 7.5%. This is likely to mask even higher rates in particular hospitals, services and wards. Read full story Source: HSJ, 14 January 2021
  7. News Article
    The Becker's Clinical Leadership & Infection Control editorial team chose the top 10 patient safety issues for healthcare leaders to prioritise in 2021, presented below in no particular order, based on news, study findings and trends reported in the past year. COVID-19 Healthcare staffing shortages Missed and delayed diagnoses Drug and medicine supply shortages Low vaccination coverage and disease resurgance Clinical burnout Health equity Healthcare-associated infections Surgical mistakes Standardising safety efforts. Read full story Source: Becker's Healthcare, 30 December 2020
  8. News Article
    "There can be no debate: this is now much, much worse than the first wave", says a NHS consultant. "Truly, I never imagined it would be this bad. Once again Covid has spread out along the hospital, the disease greedily taking over ward after ward. Surgical, paediatric, obstetric, orthopaedic; this virus does not discriminate between specialities. Outbreaks bloom even in our “clean” areas and the disease is even more ferociously infectious. Although our local tests do not differentiate strains, I presume this is the new variant. The patients are younger this time around too, and there are so many of them. They are sick. We are full." Read full story Source: The Guardian, 7 January 2020
  9. News Article
    England’s chief nurse has said that NHS and care staff are working incredibly hard to cope with record numbers of COVID-19 patients, amid concern that frontline staff are close to burnout. Ruth May pleaded with the public to follow the coronavirus advice to help relieve the pressure on hospital staff, after two days of record hospital admissions. Adrian Boyle, the vice-president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, told BBC Breakfast that health employees were “tired, frustrated and fed up”. He said: “What is it going to be like over the next couple of months? I don’t know, I am worried. We are very much at battle stations. “There will be short-term surges of morale but people are tired, frustrated and fed up, as everybody is, whether they work in hospital or not. The people who go into emergency medicine expect it to be tough from time to time. “There is a real worry about burnout.” Read full story Source: BBC News, 1 January 2021
  10. News Article
    Staff shortages and a lack of equipment are affecting the day-to-day decisions about patient care by doctors and nurses, a new YouGov survey has revealed. The representative survey of NHS clinicians revealed more than half, 54%, admitted that factors such as a lack of staff played a role in their decisions about patients beyond what was in their best interests. Almost a third of staff, 31%, said staffing levels were the top factor affecting decisions about patients. A fifth said the availability of services such as key tests were a significant factor; 16% cited a lack of equipment; and 12% cited beds. 10% of clinicians said a fear of being sued was part of their decision-making. YouGov carried out the research for JMW Solicitors and weighted the responses to be representative of the NHS workforce population. It also revealed more than two-fifths of clinicians, 42%, believe a “blame culture” in the NHS plays a top role in preventing staff admitting to mistakes in care. In maternity services specifically, 68% of nurses and midwives said at least one factor other than what was in patients’ best interest played a role in their decisions. Read full story Source: The Independent, 20 December 2020
  11. Content Article
    What you'll get from this report Insights from doctors and medical students who have experienced bullying and harassment. Evidence of the impact of bullying and harassment in the workplace. Recommendations in three key areas to combat bullying and harassment.
  12. News Article
    A major London trust’s critical care staff have urged leaders to review elective work targets amid serious concerns over workload, safe staffing and burnout, HSJ has learned. In a letter to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust’s board, staff represented by trade union Unite said they had “repeatedly” raised concerns about the provider’s approach to elective work, as well as winter pressures and second wave planning, and the implications this has had for “the health, safety and wellbeing of both staff and patients”. The letter — which was also addressed to the trust’s health and safety committee and has been seen by HSJ — said: “Our primary concern is that the trust’s endeavours, and understandable need to square these circles, may be unrealistic given the current pressures on staffing and the high rates of sickness and burnout the trust is continuing to experience. “This is especially in critical care, where we are concerned this may compromise patient safety and is already damaging staff wellbeing and morale.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 18 December 2020
  13. News Article
    More needs to be done to tackle safe staffing levels in Northern Ireland's health service, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). A year on from the nurses' strike, the union has warned that problems caused by poor workforce planning and chronic underfunding have not been addressed. Instead they have been exacerbated by the CoOVID-19 pandemic, said the RCN. The Department of Health said dealing with staff shortfalls was a "key priority" for the health minister. Pat Cullen, the Northern Ireland director of the RCN, said "very little has actually changed" since about 15,000 healthcare workers took to the picket line in December last year for a series of protests over pay and safe staffing levels. "We need to remind the government that many of these issues have sadly not gone away," she added. Read full story Source: BBC News, 18 December 2020
  14. News Article
    England’s test and trace service is being sub-contracted to a myriad of private companies employing inexperienced contact tracers under pressure to meet targets, a Guardian investigation has found. Under a complex system, firms are being paid to carry out work under the government’s £22bn test and trace programme. Serco, the outsourcing firm, is being paid up to £400m for its work on test and trace, but it has subcontracted a bulk of contact tracing to 21 other companies. Contact tracers working for these companies told the Guardian they had received little training, with one saying they were doing sensitive work while sitting beside colleagues making sales calls for gambling websites. One contact-tracer, earning £8.72 an hour, said he was having to interview extremely vulnerable people in a “target driven” office that encouraged staff to make 20 calls a day, despite NHS guidance saying each call should take 45 to 60 minutes. Another call centre worker, who had no experience in healthcare or emotional support, said she suffered a nervous breakdown during an online tutorial about phoning the loved ones of coronavirus victims in order to trace their final movements. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 14 December 2020
  15. News Article
    There are not enough nurses to safely care for patients in the UK, according to the body that represents the profession, and many of those who are working are suffering from anxiety and burnout after a gruelling nine months treating Covid patients. A year after the prime minister pledged during the 2019 election campaign to add 50,000 nurses to the NHS, the Royal College of Nursing has accused Boris Johnson of being “disingenuous” for claiming the government is meeting this 2025 target. Johnson claimed last week that the government had “14,800 of the 50,000 nurses already” during prime minister’s questions in the Commons. Yet the latest NHS figures show there were 36,655 vacancies for nursing staff in England in September, with the worst shortages affecting mental health care and acute hospitals. Staff in some intensive care units (ICUs) have quit since the pandemic, with those whom the Observer spoke to choosing to work instead in supermarkets or as dog-walkers. Dame Donna Kinnair, the RCN’s chief executive and general secretary, said: “The simple, inescapable truth is that we do not have enough nursing staff in the UK to safely care for patients in hospitals, clinics, their own homes or anywhere else.” She said that even before the pandemic, “heavy demand” was rising faster than the “modest increases” in staff numbers. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 12 December 2020
  16. News Article
    Hospital trusts have been put on notice that the challenging storage requirements of the first covid vaccines are likely to mean the vaccination of their staff will have to form the vanguard of the planned roll-out next month due. HSJ reported last week that healthcare staff would share priority with “care home residents and staff” in the vaccine roll-out. However, a letter sent to trust chief executives by NHS England seeks to clarify the situation by stressing that “different vaccines are likely to be better suited to different settings because the vaccines are likely to have different storage, reconstitution and administration requirements”. “Given what we currently know about the first expected vaccine, the imperative is that NHS trusts are ready to start vaccinating from the beginning of December.” Trusts are one of several components of the vaccination programme that includes primary care-run sites, mass vaccination centres, and “roving” visits to those who need them. Local systems and regional teams will decide “the most appropriate combination of models required to deliver the vaccine to their local populations based on local needs” the letter says. However, during the early stages of the roll-out this is likely to be dictated by the vaccine types that become available. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 25 November 2020
  17. News Article
    Staff at a specialist care unit did not attempt to resuscitate a woman with epilepsy, learning difficulties and sleep apnoea when she was found unconscious, an inquest heard. Joanna Bailey, 36, died at Cawston Park in Norfolk on 28 April 2018. Jurors heard she was found by a worker whose CPR training had expired, and the private hospital near Aylsham - which care for adults with complex needs - had been short-staffed that night. Support worker Dan Turco told the coroner's court he went to check on Ms Bailey just after 03:00 BST and found she was not breathing and had blood around her mouth. The inquest heard he went to get help from colleagues, including the nurse in charge, but no-one administered CPR until paramedics arrived. It was heard Mr Turco's CPR training had lapsed in the weeks before Ms Bailey died, unbeknown to him. Mr Turco said he had since received training and has had his first aid qualifications updated. Cawston Park, run by the Jeesal Group, a provider of complex care services within the UK, is currently rated as "requires improvement" by the Care Quality Commission. Read full story Source: BBC News, 23 November 2020
  18. News Article
    An Essex maternity department has been served with further warnings by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and again rated “inadequate”. Serious concerns were raised about the services at Basildon University Hospital in the summer, after several babies were found to have been starved of oxygen and put at risk of permanent brain damage. Despite the CQC issuing warning notices to Mid and South Essex Foundation Trust in June 2020, a subsequent visit on 18 September found multiple problems had persisted. The CQC’s findings at Basildon included: the service was short-staffed and concerns were not escalated appropriately multidisciplinary team working was “dysfunctional”, which sometimes led to safety incidents doctors, midwives and other professionals did not support each other to provide good care. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 19 November 2020
  19. News Article
    More than three-quarters of midwives think staffing levels in their NHS trust or board are unsafe, according to a survey by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM). The RCM said services were at breaking point, with 42% of midwives reporting that shifts were understaffed and a third saying there were “very significant gaps” in most shifts. Midwives were under enormous pressure and had been “pushed to the edge” by the failure of successive governments to invest in maternity services, said Gill Walton, the chief executive of the RCM. “Maternity staff are exhausted, they’re demoralised and some of them are looking for the door. For the safety of every pregnant woman and every baby, this cannot be allowed to continue,” she said. “Midwives and maternity support workers come into the profession to provide safe, high-quality care. The legacy of underfunding and underinvestment is robbing them of that – and worse still, it’s putting those women and families at risk.” RCM press release Read full story Source: The Guardian, 16 November 2020
  20. News Article
    Planning around what the NHS can deliver this winter must be based on how many nursing staff are available and the workload they can safely take on, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has warned. Amid widespread nursing shortages, the union has called on the government to “be honest” about nurse vacancies and address what steps need to be taken to keep staff and patients safe. “It is essential that learning is applied to planning for this winter, including what service can be delivered safely with the workforce available” Last week NHS England moved to its highest level of emergency preparedness. But the RCN warned it still had grave concerns around how services would be safely staffed, claiming it was too late to find the nurses needed to meet the anticipated demands of the incoming winter. Despite an increase in the number of nurses registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council this year, the college said there were still around 40,000 nurse vacancies in the NHS in England alone. These shortages, which were felt across all areas of nursing, had been exacerbated because of staff self-isolating or being off sick because of COVID-19, the RCN noted. The impacts of workforce shortages meant there was “enormous responsibility” on the nurses working and “intolerable pressure” on senior nursing leaders, it said. Unless local staffing plans prioritised safe and high-quality care, the few nurses in post were at risk of “burn out” this winter, the college added. Read full story (paywalled) Source: Nursing Times, 9 November 2020