STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Senior nurses emphasise need to target ‘shocking’ staff retention rates – By Nicola Merrifield for Nursing Times

Successful strategies by employers to retain nurses are only found in “pockets” across the country and more work must be done to tackle sometimes “shocking” turnover rates, senior nurses have warned.
Redeploying staff between wards, unfixed rotas that are published last-minute and a perception of an increasing focus on targets over quality of care are among the problems of greatest concern.

Senior nurses and advisors pointed to poor roster management as one of the main issues when they spoke at Nursing Times’ Deputies Congress event last week.
Nicola Ranger, director of nursing at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, said it was often the newly qualified nurses who suffered the most from highly variable rotas and being moved between wards. At her own trust, she said around 400 nurses were lost each year, which she described as “shocking”.

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Senior nurses emphasise need to target

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Filed under: Hospital,

NHS has 70,000 fewer staff after new headcount

Official numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives were inflated, latest figures show

The NHS, already struggling to meet rising demand with a chronic lack of staff, has 70,000 fewer personnel working for it than ministers have previously believed, new official figures show. Its own data collection experts have found that the official head count of the number of people staffing frontline services, which was only produced in December, inflated its workforce.

At the time, a total of 1,083,545 health professionals were said to be working in the 228 NHS trusts and 209 GP-led local clinical commissioning groups across England. But the NHS’s Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) now says that the true number was 1,014,218. That means the NHS had 69,317 fewer staff last September than the 1.1 million that ministers identified in December, including just over 15,000 fewer nurses, midwives and health visitors and 3,000 fewer doctors.

“These figures reveal that the staffing crisis in the NHS is actually far worse than we had feared,” said Heidi Alexander, Labour’s shadow health secretary. “Patients will rightly be concerned that there are 18,000 fewer doctors and nurses working in the NHS than ministers had thought only four months ago.”

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http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/02/nhs-staffing-crisis-70000-go-missing

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , , ,

Staffing crisis as nurses quit NHS – More than 1,260 have left the NHS in the past year alone

More than 1,260 have left the NHS in the past year alone and health chiefs fear the exodus will grow as experienced staff take advantage of early retirement clauses in their contracts.

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens has also warned that the benefit of the £1billion pledged by David Cameron is unlikely to be felt until 2018. NHS boss Jim Mackey told the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network annual conference that “there is no cavalry coming”. Nursing recruitment is in crisis with vacancy levels averaging 10 per cent and a shortfall of 25,000 posts leading to huge bills for agency nurses to plug gaps. The Government has scrapped education bursaries so student nurses now apply for loans like other students.

The impact of the changes is likely to be felt more acutely in the mental health sector where recruits tend to be older and will struggle to afford the fees and student loan debts. Howard Catton, of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “This is a massive roll of the dice.

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http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/653954/Staffing-crisis-nurses-quit-NHS-health-Britain-mental-health

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Filed under: NHS, ,

The secret A&E nurse’s diary: ‘He stands 1cm from my face, saying he will kill me’

A casualty nurse describes a week of stark contrasts, from helping a 79 year old man whose lips have turned blue to being confronted by a violent drunk

Sunday 7am – 7.30pm

Sundays are notoriously busy in A&E. GPs are closed, and there has been no movement out from the wards so there are no free beds in the hospital. At the start of my shift there are already 83 patients in the department. People are waiting to be treated in the corridors and it’s like sardines. My heart sinks. I’m in charge of ambulance triage – as soon as the ambulance pulls up outside, I have 15 minutes to get the patient into a cubicle and take over from the paramedic. I have targets to achieve. For every breach, we are fined. It seems unfair, especially when 10 turn up at once.

I hear one of my drunk patients shouting and run to find him ripping off his monitoring, throwing thousands of pounds worth of equipment across the room. I ask what he’s doing and he comes and stands 1cm away from my face, telling me he is going to kill me. He reaches into his pocket but before I know it, one of my colleagues has restrained him up against the wall.

Monday 7am – 7.30pm

Today is a day of stark contrast. I see a 20-year-old woman who describes symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Her GP prescribed her antibiotics five hours ago. She says they’re not working.

A few minutes later, a 79-year-old man walks into A&E. His lips are blue. He says he rolled over in bed last night and has felt short of breath since. I take him into resuscitation and later find out he suffered a collapsed lung. He should have phoned an ambulance.

Click on the link to read more of the secret A&E nurses diary

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/22/casualty-nurse-diary-nhs

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Filed under: A&E, ,

NHS bullying is a threat to patients: Health ministers warning of ‘toxic’ culture after survey finds quarter of doctors, nurses and other staff have fallen victim

  • A quarter of all NHS employees have been victimised by their colleagues
  • Staff introduced to each other by their pay scales instead of their names
  • Hierarchical Attitudes impede ability to improve care and patients safety
  • NHS told to be more like Asda where staff have sense of pride over work 

A ‘toxic’ culture of bullying amongst NHS staff is putting the safety of patients at risk, a health minister has warned. Lord Prior revealed that a quarter of employees have been victimised by their own colleagues, a rate unheard of in other organisations. He said the health service needed to learn lessons from the supermarket chain Asda where staff feel valued and turn-up to work with a sense of pride.

By contrast, he spoke of how many doctors, nurses and back-office healthcare staff had become ‘switched-off’ and disillusioned. He also warned of the culture of hierarchy in the NHS with nurses routinely introducing themselves to other workers by their pay-scales, or ‘bands’, rather than their names. The health minister suggested that bosses should be ‘pushing the panic button’ over the high rates of bullying and taking urgent action to improve staff morale. He warned that the this attitude was impeding the NHS’s drive to improve care and safety, in the face of tighter financial constraints and the increasing elderly population.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3152886/NHS-bullying-threat-patients-Health-ministers-warning-toxic-culture-survey-finds-quarter-doctors-nurses-staff-fallen-victim.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , , , , ,

New ‘duty of candour’ rules instruct medics to admit mistakes

 

New guidelines are being unveiled for doctors, nurses and midwives across the UK on being honest and open with patients when things go wrong.

Known as a “duty of candour”, the guidelines make clear that patients should expect a face-to-face apology. In April, the NHS introduced a rule that told NHS and private healthcare organisations to admit their mistakes candidly, and as soon as possible. Now the same rule is to be applied to individual medics.

Say Sorry

Detailed guidance makes clear staff should tell the patient as soon as possible when something has gone wrong, and what it might mean for their health. The guidance also makes clear that patients or their families should receive a face-to-face apology. For the avoidance of doubt, it even spells out words that such an apology might include, such as “I am sorry”. The guidance was drawn up by the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council and applies to more than 950,000 doctors, nurses and midwives working in the UK.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-33286601

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, , , , , ,

Nurses criticised at GP practices placed into ‘special measures’ By Nicola Merrifield, Nursing Times

A group of GP practices have been placed into special measures after inspectors raised concerns, including a lack of staff learning following safety incidents, failure by nurses to understand mental capacity legislation and outdated training on vaccinations.

As part of its inspections of general practice, the Care Quality Commission released reports on a further 61 GP services in England last week. The reports reveal that four – Constable Country Rural Medical Practice in Ipswich, New Inn Surgery in Guildford, Dr Alan Samuel Muir Grasse in north London and Polkyth Surgery in Cornwall – have been rated as “inadequate” and put into special measures, which means they must improve or risk losing their registration.

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Nurses criticised at GP practices placed into ‘special measures’

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Filed under: GP's, NHS, , , ,

Thousands die of thirst and poor care in NHS

Up to 40,000 patients die annually because hospital staff fail to diagnose a treatable kidney problem, a figure that dwarfs the death toll from superbugs like MRSA

At least 1,000 hospital patients are dying needlessly each month from dehydration and poor care by doctors and nurses, according to an NHS study. The deaths from acute kidney injury could be prevented by simple steps such as nurses ensuring patients have enough to drink and doctors reviewing their medication, the researchers say. Between 15,000 and 40,000 patients die annually because hospital staff fail to diagnose the treatable kidney problem, a figure that dwarfs the death toll from superbugs like MRSA.

The report comes less than a year after the NHS watchdog NICE was forced to issue guidelines on giving patients water after it found that 42,000 deaths a year could be avoided if staff ensured the sick were hydrated.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/10778537/Thousands-die-of-thirst-and-poor-care-in-NHS.html

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , , , , ,

Exclusive: Nurses demand more purchase power over products. By Steve Ford, Nursing Times

The joint survey of over 850 nurses by Nursing Times, NHS Supply Chain and the Royal College of Nursing will inform a major new campaign to boost the influence of nursing staff in the NHS procurement process.

A resounding 90% of survey respondents thought senior nurses should have greater influence over what products were used to support patient care. A similar percentage said they believed nurses could save money if they had greater involvement in the purchasing process and 87% thought patient safety would be improved through close working between nursing staff and clinical supplies teams. More than half, 55%, said they had already seen areas where savings could be made by changing the clinical products they used, for example through standardisation or reducing waste.

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Exclusive Nurses demand more purchase power over products

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District community elderly blood home patient dressing wound care

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , , ,

MPs call for better training to improve nurses’ end of life care skills, By Nicola Merrifield, Nursing Times

Nurses and other clinicians must receive tailored training to address the lack of confidence and skills they have in raising end of life issues with patients, a report by the Commons’ health select committee has said.

The MPs’ inquiry into end of life care found variation in the quality and practice of care given to people approaching the end of life – defined by the committee as those who appear likely to die within the next 12 months – within both hospital and community settings.

End of life care is unlikely to improve unless staff feel able to identify people who are close to dying and start conversations with them about where and how they would like to be cared for, said the MPs in their report. http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-committee/news/report-end-of-life-care/

Evidence submitted to the committee by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman stated that half of all its complaints around this type of care featured poor communication – including between clinicians and patients or the family, within clinical teams and between hospitals and community services.

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MPs call for better training to improve nurses’ end of life care skills

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Filed under: Elderly, Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

Failure to train enough nurses proves very costly for NHS

Information obtained by the Royal College of Nursing in the East of England shows a 69pc rise in agency nursing expenditure across the region by £20m and a 26pc growth in the number of nurse vacancies across the region. The data shows that many hospitals are struggling to recruit permanent staff and are having to spend increasing amounts of money on temporary staff to look after patients and increasingly looking overseas to recruit nurses. Acute hospitals were asked under the Freedom of Information Act for registered nurse vacancies, nurse agency spend and overseas recruitment during 2014.

RCN director for the eastern region, Karen Webb, said: “The cost of central government’s failure to plan properly for the NHS’s workforce needs is proving cripplingly expensive.  “Through no fault of their own, NHS trusts in our region are scouring the globe looking for nurses and, in the meantime, having to make do with the sticking plaster approach of using expensive agency nurses. “It’s not good for patient care and it is the most inefficient and most expensive way to try and staff wards.”

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http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/news/failure_to_train_enough_nurses_proves_very_costly_for_nhs_1_3969303

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , , ,

Me and my granddaughter. This is why I want change in the NHS by Joanna Slater

I never post anything about my private life, but I had to share these selfie’s pictured with me and my granddaughter Sophie 17 months old.

I want an NHS back to when I was Sophie’s age at 17 months old. An NHS that our mothers and fathers were proud and confident to be part of. An NHS that we had faith in the hands that were healing us. An NHS having compassion and empathy with young and old. An NHS with no cover ups, no politics, and an NHS that we know our loved ones will be cared and supported for in their later years.

We have so many wonderful doctors and nurses that are under so much pressure due to staff shortages etc. This is not a reflection on them.

All the stories posted from the news media and personal experiences here on Strength in Numbers are because these stories should never be yesterday’s news as it’s so easy to forget. Strength in Numbers fighting for the NHS we once believed in. Joanna

sophie 1  Sophie 2

Me and my granddaughter Sophie. Joanna Slater

 

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Sister says working A&E night shift is ‘more stressful than war zone – By Jo Stephenson – Nursing Times

The sister at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, who previously nursed soldiers on the frontline during the 2003 Iraq invasion, said she had to make decisions “that put patients at risk and put staff under extreme pressure”. She described how a pregnant woman miscarried on the floor of a triage area in view of strangers and how she was forced to leave an unconscious patient in the care of junior staff and “hope to God he didn’t aspirate, have a massive bleed or fit”. “I spent weeks in and out of the trenches being shelled, nursing soldiers under trolleys as the warning sirens went off,” she wrote in an account of her experiences. “I know what stress is.

Click on the link to read more …  Working in A&E

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Filed under: A&E, Uncategorized, ,

Four in five new NHS nurses are from overseas

Four in five extra nurses recruited in the last year are from abroad, according to new figures which sparked warnings that the NHS has become “astonishingly over-reliant” on foreign labour. Nurse leaders accused hospitals of “panic-buying” overseas workers at great expense to plug staff shortages, while patients groups raised fears that care is being compromised by nurses with poor command of English. It comes as separate figures show almost one in 10 council houses is now occupied by those from abroad. Data from every NHS hospital trust in the country shows 5,778 nurses were recruited from overseas over the last year, with the largest numbers coming from Spain, Portugal, the Phillipines and Italy. The figure makes up 81 per cent of extra nurses hired in England over the period, as hospital trusts rushed to hire more staff after widespread shortages were exposed in the wake of the Mid-Staffs scandal.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11297761/Four-in-five-new-NHS-nurses-are-from-overseas.html

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Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

NHS Christmas crisis: Hospitals face turning patients away after 1,800 nurses quit in 2 months

Hospitals may have to turn patients away this Christmas after more than 1,800 nurses quit the NHS in two months, reports Vincent Moss of the Sunday People. Britain’s total nursing staff plummeted alarmingly from 280,765 in June to 278,924 in August, according to the ­latest official figures. This prompted fears of a winter staff crisis that will force stretched hospitals to close their doors to ­patients. Embattled Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt faced more ­damaging news after the Government’s Health and Social Information Centre revealed an exodus of NHS matrons. Since David Cameron became PM in May 2010 the number has slumped by more than 1,200 from 6,399 to 5,154. Overall the number of senior nurses in the NHS has fallen by 3,373 from 66,832 in 2010 to 63,458 this year.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-christmas-crisis-hospitals-face-4761091

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Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Own up to mistakes, hospital staff told: New guidelines will order doctors and nurses to apologise to patients and families

Doctors and nurses are being ordered to own up to their mistakes and to say sorry to patients and families. The joint guidelines from the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council instruct staff to report an error immediately to prevent a repeat. Figures show as many as a fifth of all hospital trusts are under-recording mistakes and near-misses – some of which have fatal consequences.  They include ‘never’ events such as the wrong organs being removed, swabs left inside patients or overdoses of drugs.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2818253/Own-mistakes-hospital-staff-told-New-guidelines-order-doctors-nurses-apologise-patients-families.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

Anger at NHS ‘mismanagement’ as number of foreign nurses soars

The Royal College of Nursing has slammed the findings as “no way to run a health service” as the number of nurses arriving to work here from overseas has leapt by nearly 50 per cent in just a year. Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the RCN said: “It is common sense that relying on short-term fixes is far more expensive in the long run. “Yet the UK has been cutting the supply of nurses to save money, then realising too late that patient safety is in danger and paying even more money to recruit from overseas.  “It is the equivalent of relying on payday loans and it is no way to run a health service.” The new figures show that, for the first time in almost a decade, Britain is now importing more nurses than it exports. At a time when the NHS is struggling amid crippling cuts and a desperate shortage of money, the RCN said the “mismanagement” and costly scramble to tempt nurses here from abroad is wasting millions of pounds.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/528974/NHS-Foreign-Nurses-Numbers-Soar?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+daily-express-uk-news+(Daily+Express+%3A%3A+UK+Feed)

 

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Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

Nurses’ poor handwriting and maths ‘is costing lives’: Death rate at two hospitals falls 15% when staff were given electronic devices to record information

Thousands of patients are dying in hospital each year because of bad handwriting, errors in maths and poor monitoring by nursing, according to a study. The death rate at two hospitals fell by 15 per cent after nurses were given electronic devices in place of handwritten paper notes to record patients’ heart rates and breathing. Researchers calculated that 750 deaths were prevented in a year at the two hospitals, Queen Alexandria in Portsmouth and University Hospital in Coventry.

Across the NHS, this means 37,000 deaths could be avoided if nurses were given the devices rather than relying on traditional handwritten notes from nurses. At present, nurses are meant to measure patients’ heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels and take certain other readings and note them down on a board at the end of the bed.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2767347/Nurses-poor-handwriting-maths-costing-lives-Death-rate-two-hospitals-falls-15-staff-given-electronic-devices-record-information.html

 

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NICE sets out guidance on safe nurse staffing levels for hospitals

Less than two registered nurses present on a ward during any shift, day or night, represents a patient safety “red flag”, according to major guidelines for the NHS.
In addition, nurse managers must check staffing levels are safe on hospital wards where each registered nurse is caring for more than eight patients during day shifts.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has today published the final version of its much-anticipated guidance on safe staffing levels for acute inpatient wards – the first of a series covering a range of healthcare settings.

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NICE sets out guidance on safe nurse staffing levels for hospitals

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Trusts scramble to address nurse staffing concerns – Nursing Times.Net

The NHS is continuing to recruit hundreds of extra qualified nurses a month with numbers at their highest for a decade, latest workforce data shows.

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Trusts scramble to address nurse staffing concerns NursingTimes

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Warning ‘Obamacare’ could lead to US poaching thousands of UK nurses

The NHS risks losing thousands of nurses to the US if it fails to value and support existing nursing staff, the chief executive of Health Education England has warned.
Speaking at the body’s first annual conference, Professor Ian Cumming said the NHS would be “stuffed” if UK-trained nurses left to plug a massive shortfall in staff across the Atlantic.

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Warning ‘Obamacare’ could lead to US poaching thousands of UK nurses

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Exclusive: Survey shows NHS not there yet on raising concerns

More than a third of nurses believe the culture around raising concerns has improved at their employer in the last 12 months – but many still report negative consequences from doing so.

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http://www.nursingtimes.net/5068502.article?referrer=e1

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Senior nurses restate call for ratio of one nurse for eight patients

Campaigners from the Safe Staffing Alliance have emphasised that a nurse-patient ratio of more than one-to-eight should be a warning signal that a ward may be struggling.

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http://www.nursingtimes.net/5068541.article?referrer=e1

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