Going Smoke-free: Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS (Mental Health) Trust [Atlas of Shared Learning]

NHS England | December 2018 | Going Smoke-free: Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS (Mental Health) Trust

A nurse led a smoking cessation programme board at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust implemented a move towards a smoke-free trust, given the demonstrable evidence of the benefits of such an initiative, particularly when recognising the local unwarranted variation of significantly higher numbers of mental health patients at the Trust identified as smokers, compared to the national average.

This led to:

Better outcomes – In a 2016 Friends & Family Test (FFT) 10% of staff who responded identified themselves as smokers. In early 2017 only 8% of staff identified themselves as smokers. Latest FFT data indicated that only 7% of staff identified as smokers in August 2017. The 2018 FFT has completed and the Trust is currently awaiting the final data prior to distribution to staff. Within ‘Trust A’ in the evaluation, the proportion of inpatients for whom smoking status was unknown fell from 39% to 13% over the last 18 months of the study period. There is wider evidence from the clinical audit of smoking status, that smoking prevalence fell within the Trust from 43% in 2015 to 21% in 2018.

Better experience – Both patients and staff have reported that the support provided as a part of the policy has been well-received and a mechanism for change – which is a positive indicator of experience.

Better use of resources – The training and skills provided to staff as part of the initiative have supported them to offer a more holistic approach to care without the need for referral onwards which again will have several benefits to service users and their families. The evidence of the evaluation suggest the monthly cost of prescribing NRT products is not excessive, varying between £3,000 and £4,000 per month within each Trust.

For Trusts looking to go smoke-free, the nurse leadership team at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust recommend planning at least 12-18 months in advance.

(Source: NHS England)

Read the full case study at NHS England 

Men’s health: nurse-led community projects

Men’s health: nurse-led projects in the community |  The Queen’s Nursing Institute

family-1921637_1280This report aims to provide information and guidance to community nurses who want to work more effectively on men’s health.  It includes information on a range of men’s health and wellbeing projects that the Queen’s Nursing Institute supported in 2017 with funding from the Burdett Trust for Nursing.

The report also includes wider information about men’s health including details of additional information and support.

Full report:   Men’s health: nurse-led projects in the community

Care home journey

Royal College of Nursing | September 2018 | Care home journey

A new online resource from the Royal College of Nursing has been designed to support nursing care in older peoples care homes. 

Image source: rcn.org.uk

Care Home Journey comprises:

  • Pre-admission
  • Admission
  • Ongoing assessment / Care planning / Risk assessment
  • Short stay
  • Discharge
  • Fundamentals/ Essential care
  • Acute admission
  • Other transfer
  • End of life care

Access Care Home Journey from the RCN 


Learning disability care could return to ‘Victorian era’ because of nurse training cuts, experts warn

The Independent | August 2018 | Learning disability care could return to ‘Victorian era’ because of nurse training cuts, experts warn

A new article in The Independent highlights the shortage of specialist nurses, such as learning disability nurses who provide specialist care in the community and in some acute trusts.


Director of nursing, policy and practice at the Royal College of Nursing, Dame Donna Kinnair said: “The nursing shortage in England is harming some of the most vulnerable members of society.

“Those with learning disabilities already face a lower life expectancy and poorer health outcomes than the general population, and a lack of specialist knowledge will make matters worse.

Read the full news story at  The Independent 

How nurses can improve care for people with severe mental illness

Young, N. | 2018 | How nurses can improve care for people with severe mental illness| Nursing Times  [online] |114| 9| P. 34-36.

A new review  published in the Nursing Times considers how nurses can better support people with severe mental illness (via Nursing Times). 


Severe mental illness is associated with reduced life expectancy and poor physical health. Early detection and intervention increases the likelihood of improved health and social outcomes, but people experiencing their first episode of psychosis often experience delays in accessing treatment. This article summarises a review of studies funded by the National Institute for Health Research that investigates support for people with severe mental illness, and highlights how nurses working in acute, primary care and community settings can improve patients’ access to effective support and care.

The article is available to Rotherham NHS staff to request here 


Long shift patterns lead to higher sickness absence risk for hospital-based Registered Nurses and Healthcare Assistants, finds study

University of Southampton |July 2018 | Long shift patterns lead to higher sickness absence risk for hospital-based Registered Nurses and Healthcare Assistants

A longitudinal study that looked at shift patterns is the first of its kind to examine and demonstrate the impact on nurses’ sickness rates. The researchers from the University of  Southampton, The University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, and Libera Università Maria Ss Assunta, Italy, collected and analysed data during a three-year period, which covered 600,000 shifts worked by 1,944 staff members across 32 general inpatient wards at an acute hospital in England.

They found a little over 38,000 shifts lost due to sickness absence corresponding to 8,090 distinct episodes.

Dr Chiara Dall’ Ora, co-author of the study  said:  “While occasional shifts of 12 hours or more (less than 25%) in the past 7 days were not significantly associated with more sickness absence, when staff worked a higher proportion of shifts of 12 hours or more, sickness rates increased, with the highest odds for those working more than three quarters of their shifts as 12 hours or more shifts.”

Professor Peter Griffiths, a co-author on the paper and Chair of Health Services Research at the University of Southampton, added: “Working more long shifts was associated with both long and short-term sickness. As well as being bad for employees, such increases in sickness rates are likely to be costly and may undermine a key motivation for introducing the 12-hour shift pattern – organisational efficiency.”


Source: University of Southampton

The research findings have now been published in the Journal of Nursing Management 

Dall’Ora C, Ball J, Redfern O, Recio-Saucedo A, Maruotti A, Meredith P &Griffiths P.| 2018| Are long nursing shifts on hospital wards associated with sickness absence? A longitudinal retrospective observational study|Journal of Nursing Management |Epub ahead of print]e|doi: 10.1111/jonm.12643.




To investigate whether working 12 hr shifts is associated with increased sickness absence among registered nurses and health care assistants.


Previous studies reported negative impacts on nurses’ 12 hr shifts; however, these studies used cross-sectional techniques and subjective nurse-reported data.


A retrospective longitudinal study using routinely collected data across 32 general inpatient wards at an acute hospital in England. We used generalized linear mixed models to explore the association between shift patterns and the subsequent occurrence of short (less than 7 days) or long-term (more than or equal to 7 days) sickness absence.


We analysed 601,282 shifts and 8,090 distinct episodes of sickness absence. When more than 75% of shifts worked in the past 7 days were 12 hr in length, the odds of both a short-term and long-term sickness episode were increased compared with working none.


Working long shifts on hospital wards is associated with a higher risk of sickness absence for registered nurses and health care assistants.


The higher sickness absence rates associated with long shifts could result in additional costs or loss of productivity for hospitals. The routine implementation of long shifts should be avoided.



Introduction of a nurse supplied medication programme at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

NHS Improvement |July 2018 |Introduction of a nurse supplied medication programme at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

A new case study from NHS England has looked at the introduction of a nurse supplied medication programme at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust.

The full case study is available to read at NHS England