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Found 77 results
  1. News Article
    MPs have launched an inquiry examining workforce burnout across the NHS and social care, and the system’s ability to manage staff stress amid increased pressures during the COVID-19 pandemic. The House of Commons health and social care committee said it aims to produce a report showing the levels of staff needed in health and social care to tackle exhaustion and meet future challenges. The committee is calling for evidence on how workforce shortages impacted staff well-being and patient care during the pandemic and the areas that need to see recruitment most urgently. Read full story Source: Pulse, 3 August 2020
  2. News Article
    The Parliament and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) been working with the NHS and other public service organisations, members of the public and advocacy groups to develop a shared vision for NHS complaint handling. We've called this the Complaint Standards Framework. Now they want to hear from you. Have your say in shaping the future of NHS complaint handling by taking part in their survey. Read the Complaint Standards Framework: Summary of core expectations for NHS organisations and staff
  3. 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
  4. Content Article
    You may also like to watch: 2-minute Tuesdays: Safer apps for safer patients
  5. News Article
    Regulators have uncovered multiple examples of patients being put at risk when junior doctors are left with tasks they are not trained for, lacking support, and facing bullying and inappropriate behaviour. Inspection teams have had to intervene – in some cases contacting senior trust staff – to ensure urgent issues are addressed, after the inspections. Health Education England oversees training nationally, which includes making the checks at trusts which have been put under “enhanced monitoring” by the professional regulator, the General Medical Council, because of concerns from trainees. HSJ has obtained and examined 20 reports, all produced since the beginning of 2019. Themes running through the reports included: Lack of support from consultants. Trainees struggled to contact consultants out of hours. Bullying and inappropriate behaviour was reported at several trusts. Inspectors found a reluctance to report concerns and/or a lack of knowledge of how to do it. Teaching was often of poor quality or cancelled – and sometimes trainees struggled to attend sessions because of how their shifts and rotations were scheduled. Trainees in several trusts reported IT problems, such as being locked out of systems so being unable to access clinical notes and blood tests, and IT systems taking up to 30 minutes to start up, sometimes delaying patient care. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 29 June 2020
  6. News Article
    Inspectors have placed a women’s mental health service into special measures after patients were said to have been subjected to “inappropriate” and “derogatory” treatment by staff. St Andrew’s Healthcare, which runs the women’s inpatient facility in Northampton, has received a series of damning reports among its services over the past two years. The inspectors noted during visits between February and March that staff reportedly used language to describe patients on a medium secure ward such as “self-harmers”, “attention seeking”, and “kicking off”. Patients said staff used “inappropriate restraint techniques that caused pain” with reports they “bent the patient’s wrist and arm behind their back.” They also said staff spoke to them in a “derogatory manner, for example telling them to sort themselves out when engaging in self harm behaviour.” Inspectors rated the service “inadequate” overall, noting concerns elsewhere including “forensic failure incidents due to staff shortages”, that staff were not reporting all safeguarding concerns and that “managers did not ensure safe and clean environments in the long stay rehabilitation service and learning disability service.” Read full story Source: HSJ, 10 June 2020
  7. News Article
    Intensive care units (ICU) will be advised how to improve their staffing-to-patient ratios shortly as the number of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 falls across the country. In expectation that the pandemic would put intense pressures on ICUs, staff ratios were relaxed. NHS England told trusts to base their staffing models on one critical care nurse for every six ICU patients, supported by two non-specialist nurses, and one senior ICU clinician for every 30 patients, supported by two middle-grade doctors. Before the pandemic, guidance from the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine recommended a ratio of one non-specialist nurse per patient. For senior clinicians the ratio was 1:10 New guidance, expected as early as next week, will encourage trusts to reduce the number of patients per ICU specialist nurses and senior clinicians on a localised basis as part of “transitional arrangements” aimed at moving staffing models back towards normal standards of care, HSJ has been told. The new guidance, drawn up by NHS England, the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine and the British Association of Critical Care Nurses, will give trusts recommended staffing ratios based on the occupancy rates of their ICUs. It will tell trusts the existing ratios should be applied if their ICUs are running at four times their normal capacity. For ICUs running at double capacity, this ratio would be reduced to 1:2 for ICU nurses, and 1:15 for senior clinicians. Read full story Source: HSJ, 8 May 2020
  8. News Article
    The government could be significantly underestimating the number of medics going off work due to the coronavirus, according to a survey by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP). The health secretary, Matt Hancock, said on Sunday that 5.7% of hospital doctors were off sick or absent because of Covid-19, but a doctors’ survey of more than 2,500 medics found the rate was almost three times that – 14.6%. In recent weeks in London, nearly a third of hospital doctors said they were off work for Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 reasons, according to the RCP’s poll of members, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday. Prof Andrew Goddard, the president of the RCP, said the number who had been off work in London “should be a sobering wake-up call” for the rest of the country, with the largest rises in confirmed cases now being outside the capital including in the West Midlands. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 5 April 2020
  9. Content Article
    Although participants tended to feel a general obligation to work during an influenza pandemic, there are barriers to working, which, if generalisable, may significantly reduce the NHS workforce during a pandemic. The barriers identified are both barriers to willingness and to ability. This suggests that pandemic planning needs to take into account the possibility that staff may be absent for reasons beyond those currently anticipated in UK planning documents. In particular, staff who are physically able to attend work may nonetheless be unwilling to do so. Although there are some barriers that cannot be mitigated by employers (such as illness, transport infrastructure etc.), there are a number of remedial steps that can be taken to lesson the impact of others (providing accommodation, building reciprocity, provision of information and guidance etc). The authors suggest that barriers to working lie along an ability/willingness continuum, and that absenteeism may be reduced by taking steps to prevent barriers to willingness becoming perceived barriers to ability.
  10. News Article
    Several trust procurement leads have expressed frustration with the government’s response to covid-19, with HSJ being told of shortages of crucial personal protective equipment, unpredictable deliveries and a lack of clarity from the centre NHS Supply Chain, which procures common consumables and medical devices for trusts, has been “managing demand” for an increasing number of PPE and infection control products for since the end of February to ensure “continuity of supply”. Some products, like certain polymer aprons, are unavailable altogether because of the increased demand and disrupted supply caused by the covid-19 outbreak. One procurement lead told HSJ: “They aren’t supplying enough, they aren’t fulfilling orders. It’s completely chaotic.” Another said his trust had “just enough to manage for the time being.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 20 March 2020
  11. Content Article
    Implications While this study shows that those referring patients to ICU could benefit from greater support, the decision support tool trialled in this study would need some adaptation to fit the time-pressured realities of the users. The process did seem to help clinicians articulate and communicate their reasoning for admission. Perhaps, as the authors say, if the tool were to be integrated into existing systems the perceived additional workload may be diminished. Another not insignificant finding is that although clinicians stated they valued patient’s wishes, in some cases there was a lack of patient and family involvement.
  12. Content Article
    Key points The Commonwealth Fund surveyed 13,200 primary care physicians across 11 countries between January and June 2019. This included 1,001 general practitioners (GPs) from the UK. The Health Foundation analysed the data and reports on the findings from a UK perspective. In some aspects of care, the UK performs strongly and is an international leader. Almost all UK GPs surveyed use electronic medical records and use of data to review and improve care is relatively high. The survey also highlights areas of major concern for the NHS. Just 6% of UK GPs report feeling ‘extremely’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their workload – the lowest of any country surveyed. Only France has lower overall GP satisfaction with practising medicine. GPs in the UK also report high stress levels and feel that the quality of care that they and the wider NHS can provide is declining. A high proportion of surveyed UK GPs plan to quit or reduce their working hours in the near future. 49% of UK GP respondents plan to reduce their weekly clinical hours in the next 3 years (compared to 10% who plan to increase them). UK GPs continue to report shorter appointment lengths than the majority of their international colleagues. Just 5% of UK GPs surveyed feel ‘extremely’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the amount of time they can spend with their patients, significantly lower than the satisfaction reported by GPs in the other 10 countries surveyed. Workload pressures are growing across general practice, and UK GPs report that they are doing more of all types of patient consultations (including face-to-face, telephone triage and telephone consulting). Policymakers expect GPs to be offering video and email consultations to patients who want them in the near future but the survey suggests that this is currently a long way from happening. Only 11% of UK GPs report that their surgeries provide care through video consultation.
  13. Content Article
    In this article, Dan looks back at the Donabedian Model, a framework for measuring healthcare quality, and suggests why this might be an over simplification and why we must also look at human factors when we think about patient safety. We are humans and we can, do and will make mistakes, so we have a personal responsibility to acknowledge and address this as a contributing factor for patient safety incidents and harm. How do we begin to address our individual responsibilities? How can each of us reduce the personal risks we pose for our patients? How do we begin to address the moral imperative to recognise and then overcome any professional complacency that may interfere with our performance? Dan believes by enhancing human performance within healthcare settings this will serve as the ultimate key to improving quality and safety. Recognition by clinicians of their own tendencies toward complacency and their own vulnerabilities toward making mistakes is to encompass a mandate for personal professional commitment and improvement. If patients are harmed on the frontlines in healthcare settings, then it is on the frontlines that many of the solutions can be found and safety improvements nurtured. First recognising, and then modulating, the human factors liabilities that exist on the frontlines and overcoming the challenges of professional complacency will be necessary steppingstones towards sustained improvements in providing patient safe care. Clinicians, managers and leaders need to work collaboratively to understand and overcome the challenges that human factors pose when addressing individual performance.
  14. News Article
    Help is arriving for overworked NHS staff as a growing number of hospitals bring in sleep pods for doctors and nurses to grab power naps during their shifts. Pods have been installed or are being trialled by a dozen hospitals in England. Royal Wolverhampton NHS trust was the first to try them, in June 2018. “Too many staff end up exhausted because they have long, busy, sometimes stressful shifts, often with little chance to grab a break because pressure on the NHS is so intense,” said Prof Steve Field, the trust’s chair. “We know that doctors provide better, safer care when they are fresh and alert. We have found [the pods] to be very popular with staff and also very effective in helping them get more rest,” said Field, a former GP. Dr Mike Farquhar, a consultant in sleep medicine at the Evelina children’s hospital in London, who has persuaded NHS chiefs to take staff slumber more seriously, said hospitals were finally taking practical action. “Air traffic controllers are only allowed to work for two hours and then they must take a 30-minute break, because if they were tired and made a mistake, bad things could happen,” he said. “But in the NHS, where the pressure is often high and sustained, the problem is that the people delivering care will usually choose to prioritise everything else – especially patients – over themselves and sacrifice things like breaks and sleep.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 3 February 2020
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