Checking emails out of work ‘can reduce wellbeing’

Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Aug 3 , 2015

lady using tablet

A German study recruited a sample of 132 workers and aimed to look at how extended working outside normal hours influenced people’s mood the next day.

It found working outside normal working hours limits the sense of detachment from work, and these factors are linked to feeling more tired and less relaxed and content the next day. It was also linked to higher morning levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

This issue is very relevant to today’s working culture, where remote working and smartphones allow many of us to be continually engaged with work outside normal working hours.

However, the study gives limited representation of UK workers in general. It assessed the effect of formal “on-call” duties, compared with days when people didn’t have these duties. This means it isn’t as relevant as it first appears to be for the many UK workers who don’t have formal arrangements like this, but who do respond to emails and calls at home outside normal working hours.

Read the NHS Behind the headlines article

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Improvements to care in the last days and hours of life

Progress report on the new approach to care in the last days and hours of life: one year on from the ‘One Chance to Get it Right’ report.

This report shows the progress organisations have made on specific commitments in the One Chance to Get it Right report, which set out actions to improve care in the last days and hours of life.

The update sets out progress made on:

  • the new Care Quality Commission inspection regime for end of life care
  • new NICE guidance
  • actions to improve education, training and research
  • professional regulation
  • the implementation of the priorities for care

Reference: One Chance to Get it Right: One Year on Report

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NHS England publishes new monthly data

NHS England has today published its first set of monthly data covering key areas of urgent and emergency care, cancer treatment and patient waiting times.

This follows a recommendation from Sir Bruce Keogh to NHS England’s Chief Executive Simon Stevens in a letter published in June entitled ‘making waiting times work for patients’.

NHS England’s National Medical Director recommended that we “standardise reporting arrangements so that performance statistics for A&E, Referral to Treatment Times, cancer, diagnostics, ambulances, NHS111 and delayed transfers of care all be published on one day each month.”

As the first set of monthly data was published, Dr Barbara Hakin, National Director of Commissioning Operations for NHS England, said: “This information gives us a clearer and more comprehensive picture of the current operational performance of the NHS than has ever been presented before”.

Related: BBC News: Demand soars across the NHS in England

Stopping Smoking by using other sources of nicotine


The Royal Society for Public Health has published Stopping smoking by using other sources of nicotine. This position paper is calling for public confusion over nicotine to be addressed as a way of encouraging smokers to use safer forms of the substance.  Tobacco contains nicotine along with many other chemicals, but nicotine by itself is fairly harmless.   Electronic cigarettes and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (gum, lozenges, and patches) contain nicotine but don’t contain the harmful substances found in cigarettes. The Royal Society is now calling for measures to promote safer forms of nicotine products to smokers and make it harder to use tobacco.

See also: BBC Health report

Integration of general practice and community pharmacy

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) have published a consultation document Improving patient care through better general practice and community pharmacy integration.  This document sets out how significant improvements to patient care could be achieved through better integration of the community pharmacist with general practitioners. It also seeks to explore barriers to implementation and how these may be overcome in practice.  The document proposes some areas where the RPS and NAPC believe the greatest impact could be made, as well as how this could happen. The consultation closes on 9 October 2015.

Childhood Flu programme

Public Health England has published The national childhood flu immunisation programme 2015/16 Information for healthcare practitioners. This updated guidance includes information on: what flu is; the flu vaccine; dosage; administering the vaccine; advice on vaccinating children with an egg allergy and further resources. In the 2015/16 flu season, flu vaccine should be offered to all children who are two, three and four years old on 31 August 2015 and to all children of school years 1 and 2 age

Smoking in vehicles

Update on new law on smoking in cars and other vehicles with someone under 18.

From 1 October 2015 it will be illegal to smoke in a car (or other vehicles) with anyone under 18 present. The law is changing to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Both the driver and the smoker could be fined £50. The law applies to every driver in England and Wales, including those aged 17 and those with a provisional driving licence. The law does not apply if the driver is 17 years old and is on their own in the car.

The law applies to any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof. It still applies if people have the windows or sunroof open, have the air conditioning on, or if they sit in the open doorway of the vehicle. The law won’t apply to a convertible car with the roof completely down.

For more information, see the guidance on new rules about tobacco, e-cigarettes and smoking

via Smoking in vehicles – News stories – GOV.UK.


Mind the gap exploring the needs of early career nurses and midwives

A new report from Birmingham and Solihull Local Education and Training Council explores staff retention among newly qualified health professionals, and will be of interest to anyone considering workforce supply in the NHS.

hand drawn image of four nurses

The report is part of the ‘Every Student Counts’ project, which was initiated in response to regional concerns from employers about the recruitment and retention of nurses and midwives, and in particular concerns over a high turnover rate for band 5 nurses.

Using views and information collected through a variety of methods (including workshops and focus groups), the conclusions drawn relate to generational differences evident amongst healthcare professionals, and suggest employers need to accommodate generational needs in order to ensure that newly qualified staff of all ages are supported and retained.  As the report states:

“…there are generational concepts that require consideration if we are to appropriately support individuals as they begin their professional careers.  For the first time in history four different generations will be working together in the same employment environment… Understanding different motivational needs across these generations offers employers and education providers a real opportunity to better align support to meet individual needs and to improve recruitment and retention.”

Whilst the report emphasises that broad descriptions can lead to stereotyping and hence their categories should be considered a general guide to understanding only, four generational profiles are applied in the analysis of staff behaviours and characteristics:

Generational profile  Date of birth range  Brief descriptor
 Baby Boomer  1946 – 1964  ‘I am a post war child’
 Generation X  1965 – 1979  ‘I am a latch-key kid’
 Generation Y  1980 – 1994  ‘I am a millennial’
 Generation Z  1995 – 2010
(just entering higher education)
 ‘I am a digital native’

The report also highlights some general expectations of early career nurses and midwives, and gives recommendations that employers ‘live their values’, facilitate work-life balance for staff and offer clear pathways for career development.

You can download and read the report in full.

via Mind the gap exploring the needs of early career nurses and midwives – NHS Employers.