BAME nursing staff experiencing greater PPE shortages despite COVID-19 risk warnings #covid19rftlks

A survey of RCN members shows that black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) nursing staff are more likely to be left without PPE | Royal College of Nursing.

Amid warnings that BAME nursing staff may be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, an RCN survey reveals that they are more likely to struggle to secure adequate PPE while at work.

The latest RCN member-wide survey shows that for nursing staff working in high-risk environments (including intensive and critical care units), only 43% of respondents from a BAME background said they had enough eye and face protection equipment. This is in stark contrast to 66% of white British nursing staff.

There were also disparities in access to fluid-repellent gowns and in cases of nursing staff being asked to re-use single-use PPE items.

The survey found similar gaps for those working in non-high-risk environments. Meanwhile, staff reported differences in PPE training, with 40% of BAME respondents saying they had not had training compared with just 31% of white British respondents.

Nearly a quarter of BAME nursing staff said they had no confidence that their employer is doing enough to protect them from COVID-19, compared with only 11% of white British respondents.

Full detail at Royal College of Nursing

Full report: Second Personal Protective Equipment Survey of UK Nursing Staff Report

Government boosts UK PPE supply with more than 100 new deals #covid19rftlks

The government has signed deals with more than 100 new suppliers from around the world as well as ramping up domestic production to help meet demand for PPE | via Department of Health and Social Care

A significant boost to PPE supplies that should help meet demand in the health and social care sectors has been announced by the government. It has signed deals with more than 100 new suppliers from around the world in a challenging global market, including securing a further 3.7 billion gloves to help meet the expected demand.

  • Over 100 new suppliers contracted around the world to significantly boost UK PPE supply
  • Domestic production also ramped up significantly with contracts signed to manufacture 2 billion items of PPE in the UK
  • Over 1.48 billion items of PPE delivered to the frontline in England with tens of millions more items distributed in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales

Full detail at Department of Health and Social Care

Leading through Covid-19: supporting health and care leaders in unprecedented times #covid19rftlks

The King’s Fund | April 2020 |Leading through Covid-19: supporting health and care leaders in unprecedented times

The health and care system in the United Kingdom is facing a huge challenge, placing enormous pressure on health and care staff with unprecedented demands on leaders, wherever they work.

The King’s Fund have developed a series of resources which  aim to provide support to health and care leaders, whether you are working in the NHS, social care, public health or the voluntary and independent sector.

Supporting leaders through the Covid-19 outbreak

Why is leadership important right now?

Responding to the Covid-19 crisis: Don Berwick

Making decisions in difficult circumstances

They  want to ensure their content is practical, helpful and works for you and are encouraging health and care staff to let them know they can help (form to complete, if you follow the link).

Full details from The King’s Fund 

The psychological needs of healthcare staff as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic

The psychological needs of healthcare staff as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic | British Psychological Society Covid19 Staff Wellbeing Group

This guide is for leaders and managers of healthcare services who will need to consider the wellbeing needs of all healthcare staff (clinical and non-clinical) as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. It offers practical recommendations for how to respond at individual, management and organisational level involving the appropriate utilisation of expertise within their practitioner psychologist and mental health professionals and anticipates the psychological reactions over time, and what people may need to recovery psychologically from this.

Full document available at the British Psychological Society

Covid-19 staff absence tracker

NHS England and NHS Improvement have provided the Coronavirus Absence Tracker to assist NHS Organisations in managing their Corona Virus/Covid 19 related staff absence

Covid-19 is putting unprecedented pressure on the NHS workforce. In order to make it easier for organisations to monitor staff levels and identify any support needed, NHS England has created a tool to make it simple for staff and managers to report Covid-19 related absence.

GPs and practice staff should use the tracker to report Covid-19 related absence and subsequent return to work. It can be accessed from any computer or mobile device, is very easy to use and will provide an invaluable source of national data on the absence rate in general practice that will allow better targeting of support.

Full detail: The COVID-19 staff absence tracker

NHS launches mental health hotline for staff tackling Covid-19

The NHS has launched a mental health hotline as part of a package of measures to support the NHS’s 1.4 million staff as they help people deal with the coronavirus | NHS England

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NHS staff will be able to call or text a free number staffed by thousands of specially trained volunteers, to receive support and advice for the pressures they face every day during the global health emergency. The volunteers will listen to NHS staff and give psychological support to those in need. Anyone who requires further help will be signposted to other services ranging from practical and financial assistance through to specialist bereavement and psychological support.

Full story at NHS England

Indicators of a healthy workplace

Public Finance | June 2019 | Indicators of a healthy workplace

Managers have a vital role to play in promoting day-to-day health and wellbeing at work and supporting a cultural shift that will benefit both individuals and the organisation,  Alison Sweeting, of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy, highlights six indicators of a healthy workplace.

  1. Line managers are confident and trained in people skill
  2.  Employees feel valued and involved in the organisation
  3. Managers use appropriate health services to tackle absence and help people get back to work
  4. Managers promote an attendance culture by conducting return-to-work discussions
  5. Jobs are flexible and well designed
  6. Above all, be sure to promote the use of annual leave

Read the full article from Public Finance

 

 

JAMA: Trial finds workplace wellness program has no significant effects on clinical measures of health, health care spending and utilization, or employment outcomes

Song, Z., &  Baicker, K. | 2019| Effect of a Workplace Wellness Program on Employee Health and Economic OutcomesA Randomized Clinical Trial | JAMA |321| 15 | P.1491-1501. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.3307

A US study used a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate a multicomponent workplace wellness program resembling programs offered by US employers

Using data from 160 workplaces the research team 20 randomly selected treatment worksites which received a wellness program which 8 modules focused on nutrition, physical activity, stress reduction, and related topics implemented by registered dietitians; the 140 randomly selected as control worksites received no wellness program.

 

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Key Points

Question  What is the effect of a multicomponent workplace wellness program on health and economic outcomes?

Findings  In this cluster randomized trial involving 32 974 employees at a large US warehouse retail company, worksites with the wellness program had an 8.3-percentage point higher rate of employees who reported engaging in regular exercise and a 13.6-percentage point higher rate of employees who reported actively managing their weight, but there were no significant differences in other self-reported health and behaviors; clinical markers of health; health care spending or utilization; or absenteeism, tenure, or job performance after 18 months.

Meaning  Employees exposed to a workplace wellness program reported significantly greater rates of some positive health behaviors compared with those who were not exposed, but there were no significant effects on clinical measures of health, health care spending and utilization, or employment outcomes after 18 months

Question  What is the effect of a multicomponent workplace wellness program on health and economic outcomes?

Findings  In this cluster randomized trial involving 32 974 employees at a large US warehouse retail company, worksites with the wellness program had an 8.3-percentage point higher rate of employees who reported engaging in regular exercise and a 13.6-percentage point higher rate of employees who reported actively managing their weight, but there were no significant differences in other self-reported health and behaviors; clinical markers of health; health care spending or utilization; or absenteeism, tenure, or job performance after 18 months.

Meaning  Employees exposed to a workplace wellness program reported significantly greater rates of some positive health behaviors compared with those who were not exposed, but there were no significant effects on clinical measures of health, health care spending and utilization, or employment outcomes after 18 months

Abstract

Importance  Employers have increasingly invested in workplace wellness programs to improve employee health and decrease health care costs. However, there is little experimental evidence on the effects of these programs.

Objective  To evaluate a multicomponent workplace wellness program resembling programs offered by US employers.

Design, Setting, and Participants  This clustered randomized trial was implemented at 160 worksites from January 2015 through June 2016. Administrative claims and employment data were gathered continuously through June 30, 2016; data from surveys and biometrics were collected from July 1, 2016, through August 31, 2016.

Interventions  There were 20 randomly selected treatment worksites (4037 employees) and 140 randomly selected control worksites (28 937 employees, including 20 primary control worksites [4106 employees]). Control worksites received no wellness programming. The program comprised 8 modules focused on nutrition, physical activity, stress reduction, and related topics implemented by registered dietitians at the treatment worksites.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Four outcome domains were assessed. Self-reported health and behaviors via surveys (29 outcomes) and clinical measures of health via screenings (10 outcomes) were compared among 20 intervention and 20 primary control sites; health care spending and utilization (38 outcomes) and employment outcomes (3 outcomes) from administrative data were compared among 20 intervention and 140 control sites.

Results  Among 32 974 employees, the mean participation rate in surveys and screenings at intervention sites was 36.2% to 44.6% (n = 4037 employees) and at primary control sites was 34.4% to 43.0% (n = 4106 employees) (mean of 1.3 program modules completed). After 18 months, the rates for 2 self-reported outcomes were higher in the intervention group than in the control group: for engaging in regular exercise and for actively managing weight (69.2% vs 54.7%; adjusted difference, 13.6 percentage points; adjusted P = .02). The program had no significant effects on other prespecified outcomes: 27 self-reported health outcomes and behaviors (including self-reported health, sleep quality, and food choices), 10 clinical markers of health (including cholesterol, blood pressure, and body mass index), 38 medical and pharmaceutical spending and utilization measures, and 3 employment outcomes (absenteeism, job tenure, and job performance).

Conclusions and Relevance  Among employees of a large US warehouse retail company, a workplace wellness program resulted in significantly greater rates of some positive self-reported health behaviors among those exposed compared with employees who were not exposed, but there were no significant differences in clinical measures of health, health care spending and utilization, and employment outcomes after 18 months. Although limited by incomplete data on some outcomes, these findings may temper expectations about the financial return on investment that wellness programs can deliver in the short term.

The article is available in full from JAMA 

In the news:

The Independent Workplace wellness schemes don’t improve productivity or cut absences, trial finds

Staff wellbeing is everyone’s responsibility at Islington iCope

NHS England | n.d | Staff wellbeing is everyone’s responsibility at Islington iCope

A case study from NHS England highlights how a team at Islington iCope considered and introduced measures to support their own wellbeing. To help patients improve their mental health, NHS staff also need to take care of their own wellbeing. A team of Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs) at Islington iCope therapies service was keen to think about how they could support their own wellbeing among the pressures and challenges of delivering Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services. Starting with a Wellbeing Action Day, the PWP team worked with managers to bring about a number of meaningful changes (Source: NHS England).

Staff wellbeing is everyone’s responsibility at Islington iCope

The health care workforce in England

The health care workforce in England: make or break | The Health Foundation |  King’s Fund | Nuffield Trust 

This briefing highlights the scale of the NHS workforce challenges and the threat this poses to the delivery and quality of care. It sets out the reasons why the NHS long-term plan and a supporting workforce strategy must address the urgent and mounting challenges facing the health care workforce. 

The authors suggest that if the substantial staff shortages continue, they could lead to growing waiting lists, deteriorating care quality and the risk that some of the £20.5bn secured for NHS front-line services will go unspent: even if commissioners have the resources to commission additional activity, health care providers may not have the staff to deliver it.

The briefing will be followed in the coming weeks by a more in-depth report that explores five key levers available nationally and locally that could help ameliorate the workforce crisis affecting both health and social care.

Full briefing available at The King’s Fund

Related:  Staffing shortfall of almost 250,000 by 2030 is major risk to NHS long term plan | The Health Foundation