Pressures being experienced by front-line health and care services this winter “are a watershed moment for the NHS” | NHS Providers
In a letter to Jeremy Hunt, NHS Providers has outlined concerns over the pressures being experienced by frontline health and care services this winter. The letter warns that the government must accept that the service can no longer deliver what is required of it within current funding, and calls for urgent decisions on long-term funding for health and social care to be taken.
NHS Providers is also calling for a full review of how well the NHS handled this winter, looking at: adequacy of bed numbers and staffing levels; efficacy of the new national planning approach; adequacy, timing and allocation of extra winter funding; system resilience; process and impact of cancelled elective operations; and the role and availability of primary care and social care, and their involvement in winter planning.
NHS Providers said that despite the NHS planning for winter more thoroughly and extensively than before, this still hasn’t been sufficient as rising numbers of flu cases and more respiratory illness have placed ‘intolerable pressures’ on staff.
Read the full letter to health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt.
New report from the Royal College of Nursing calls for urgent review of Nurse staffing levels to ensure patient safety this winter.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has today published a report, Safe and Effective Staffing: Nursing Against the Oddswhich shows the results of a recent staff survey. The survey, carried out in May 2017 reveals more than half (55%) say shifts did not have the level of nurses planned, and that shortages were compromising patient care (53% ).
Nursing staff in all four UK countries were asked about staffing levels on their most recent shift and the quality of care provided. More than a third (36%) report having to leave elements of patient care undone due to a lack of time, while two thirds (65%) work an unpaid extra hour on average.
Seven in 10 nurses (71%) in England said their last daytime shift exceeded NICE guidelines, which states that more than eight patients to one nurse should act as a ‘red flag’. A quarter (26%) reported shifts with 14 or more patients per nurse.
The respondents also reported that:
patients are no longer afforded enough dignity, even dying alone;
colleagues have burned out and have become sick themselves, unable to come to work;
staff leave work “sobbing” at the impact of shortages on patient care;
many question their future in nursing and contemplate leaving the profession;
they struggle to give their children and families enough support after shifts that can exceed 12 hours.
This report, authored by Ipsos MORI, outlines the findings of qualitative research into the drivers and barriers to entry into general practice nursing (GPN) | NHS England
It finds that the general perception is that general practice is more suitable for older or more experienced nurses. As student placements in general practice are rare, there is a lack of opportunity for students to develop an understanding of the GPN role. The research also highlights the need for greater support for GPNs and the lack of standardisation in pay for GPN roles.
New figures show an increase in the number of nurses and midwives leaving our register while at the same time, numbers joining have slowed down. This has resulted in an overall reduction in the numbers of nurses and midwives registered to work in the UK | NMC
Recently public attention has focused on the reducing number of EU nurses and midwives joining our register. But today’s figures show that it is mainly UK nurses and midwives who are leaving the register, resulting in the overall downward trend.
For the first time in recent history the numbers leaving are now outstripping the numbers joining with this trend most pronounced for UK nurses and midwives who make up around 85 per cent of the register. Between 2016 and 2017, 45 per cent more UK registrants left the register than joined it for the first time.
Data also seems to show that more nurses and midwives are leaving the register before retirement age with a noticeable increase in those aged under 40 leaving.
Earlier this month we conducted a survey of more than 4,500 nurses and midwives who left the register over the previous 12 months. Excluding retirement, the top reasons given included working conditions, (including issues such as staffing levels), a change in personal circumstances (such as ill health or caring responsibilities) and a disillusionment with the quality of care provided to patients
A major new programme to drive better staff retention in trusts across England has been launched by NHS Improvement (NHSI).
With recruitment and retention adding to the huge amount of pressure already facing trusts in England, the regulator hopes the project will reduce the rates of people leaving the NHS workforce by 2020.
Led by NHSI, the programme will support trust leads and staff by providing a series of masterclasses for directors of nursing and HR to discuss ways to reduce staff leaving trusts. The organisation will also work alongside NHS Employers and look into how the current national retention programme can be built on and improved.
Specific, targeted support will also be made available for mental health providers to improve retention rates of staff groups, and a tool designed to help trusts understand why staff leave will be rolled out. A series of guidance through webinars will also be implemented to improve retention rates.
Scrapping nursing bursaries was supposed to expand training places – but that pledge has been quietly dropped, universities say | The Guardian
Universities are warning that the government is quietly reneging on its promise to provide 10,000 new nursing degree places, intended to relieve pressure on the NHS.
Student nurses must spend 50% of their degree working under supervision, usually in a hospital. But universities have told Education Guardian that not a single extra nursing training place has been funded or allocated for the future. It would cost £15m over five years to fund training placements for 10,000 new nurses, according to the Council of Deans of Health, the body that represents university faculties of nursing.
Applications to study nursing in the new 2017-18 academic year have slumped by 23% compared with last year, after the abolition of bursaries. The government said last year it would free up £800m and pay for an extra 10,000 places by ending bursaries and shifting student nurses to the standard system of £9,000-a-year tuition fees supported by loans. Angry academics now say this was a hollow promise.
This report paints a picture of an NHS struggling without the nursing staff it knows it needs| Royal College of Nursing
This report calls for the rest of the UK to follow the example of Wales and enshrine safe staffing levels in law following analysis which shows that there is approximately 40,000 unfilled nurse posts in England with a further 12,000 health care support worker vacancies. The report finds that care providers are increasingly hiring fewer registered nursing staff and that four in five NHS nursing directors have reported concerns that their hospital relies on the goodwill of staff to keep services running.