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ITV asks nurses for help

A forthcoming edition of ITV’s “Tonight” current affairs programme is scheduled to be broadcast in the near future on the subject of nursing and care.

ITV is seeking frontline nurses to take part who would like to air their views on the pressures currently facing the profession, for example staffing levels and issues raised by the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust public inquiry.

If you are potentially interested and would like to discuss appearing in the programme, please contact Patrick Talbot on 0161 9521021 or via patrick.talbot@itv.com

Readers' comments (18)

  • I've got my popcorn already. Can't wait for some of our more vociferous posters to hop on the national soap box..... :)

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  • wow, there's an opportunity. isn't it?

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  • So how do you actually appear and comment without bringing your trust into disrepute and facing disciplinary action then.

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  • exactly Saul. Who is willing to go on national TV and name and shame their hospital. knowing full well that you would come back to a witch hunt. Its so easy to discipline staff if you put you mind to it.
    wards are running under staffed and mistakes, omissions, errors and patient complaints happen. They will just use our own code of conduct against us.

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  • You only have to look at the NMC website and some of the charges brought against people.
    Failure to administer a medication in a timely manner or failed to complete an assessment document?
    This could happen to any of us if we were short staffed or pulled away for an emergency or to deal with a distressed relative.
    No one can be 100% on the ball 100% of and they only have to wait for one slip up and you're out of there.
    That's why nurses don't rock the boat. Despite what the media think its very easy to get rid of someone when managers actually want too.

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  • is this some kind of joke. Margaret Hayward went to the BBC and got struck off.

    i don't think they will get many takers - do we really need a biased, edited and scripted tv 'expose' to prove that the nhs is in crisis and that nurses have had enough of all the rubbish that goes on day in and day out.

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  • Anyone with any sense would run a mile from this; if they want to keep their job that is.

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  • Patients First Campaign is the only place where advice can be sought over raising a cause for concern safely. www.patientsfirst.org.uk Even so, to take up this offer clearly demonstrates how ignorant, of the dreadful bullying atmosphere the workplace has become. The culture is fearful of raising concerns. Nurses with real stories will contact Patients First and I am afraid to say this invitation will not produce any results of substance, sorry.................

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  • is it a trap?

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  • who cares. just off to Crap for my hols!

    (Crap Sogn Gion) - if only!

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  • Florence

    I wouldn't dare to appear on the show. Im the main wage earner & my Hubby's job is at risk again.However I will be watching. I speak up raise concerns as it is my duty to do so.
    Last week I met with my Manager. Our ward is moving from being a rehabilitation area to becoming a rehabilitation area / acute area for Older frail, complex patients.
    The change is a worthy one. Our area has skilled nursing and therapy staff who can meet the needs of these .Setting up the service is a positive move but you cannot expect to run it safely without sufficent medical cover. And they are also now planning to take direct admission from A& E. Fine. But we will need the medical support.I realise that producing a business case for reviewing medical staffing is not a simple task but shouldn't it have been addressed before changing the patient dependancy ? The Trust I work for has a habit of making hasty money saving decisions.And generally making hasty, ill considered decisions which have to be reviewed. For example we closed a large amount of medical beds a couple of years ago. Of course we have to open extra temporary beds to cope with '' Winter Pressures''.These beds stay open for at least 6 months of the year. And our Orthpaedic wards are full of medical out-liers. This is now being reviewed by our new Chief Exectutive. Who is in the process of securing the funding to re open some of the beds on a permanent basis.

    Anyway when I spoke up I was told that we cannot be seen to be failing or struggling with this change. I was told that Management will '' Get rid of anyone who doesnt appear to be coping and that our area may close if we don't just get on with it''.And my Manager added '' I don't want anyone to lose their jobs''.
    I pointed out that our medical staffing was insufficent even before the ward became more acute. My Manager agrees we do need more medical staff, preferably, more senior. However she does not feel the situation is unsafe.
    The evidence is there . And there is also a '' Paper Trail''. As we complete incident reports galore. Patients complain, families complain. The on- call medics complain when they have to pick up work their colleagues have been unable to complete.And we will soon have more evidence when our Nurse Practioners complete a trial and it will become clear how much of the Doctors work they pick up inappropriatley due to under staffing in this area.
    Our Trust is trialling the Nurse Practioner role on weekends during the day. We have had this service at night for about a year now.
    Our Nurse Practioners have told me they spend a disproportinate amount of time in our area completing work that our medical staff should have done. They also mention that we don't have enough senior decision making Doctors in our area.That has been an issue for years. As our Patients often do not have management plans. Ok I realise that Patients conditions can change and plans may need to alter at any time.
    My biggest worry is that the evidence will be ignored. My Manager is frightened. While I feel sorry for her. I know that at the end of the day our Patients are not recieving the medical care they need. We are on the verge of a serious incident occuring.
    At the moment I feel like Im going mad !!! My colleagues have the same worry as I do. My Manager just cannot see what is in front of her. I asked her if she would have access to the audit results from the Nurse Practioner Daytime service trial. As this would give her a clearer picture of the issue with medical staffing. And basically how our Patients don't recieve timely medical care consistently.She was totally dis interested. I realise it is not within her remit to organise medical staffing. But it is within her remit to raise safety issues on the ward.
    Yes Im now convinced that Ive got it all horribly wrong... Everything in the garden is Rosy...

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  • tinkerbell

    OK enough is enough. There has to be a time when we are prepared to speak out in the media. Do we not have the right to reply.

    I will phone the above number and ask what about if one of us acts as the spokesperson for concerned nurses across the land and reads out comments from other nurses in other trusts but for the sake of not losing our jobs we need to find a way round the problem.

    Any other suggestions?

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  • tinkerbell

    i have just emailed patrick talbot and will let you know if i get any reply.

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  • how many volunteers so far?

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  • Please be careful. Make sure they alter your voice or interview you in shadow so your face can't be seen or get an actor to play your part but read your words.
    And good luck.

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  • Florence, just a thought. Do you know who your commissioner is? Google your hospital and then put + PCT. Go to a heading like "about us" and have a look at the names of the people in charge and then click on Board papers. Have a browse. Ring whoever's last written a plan on elderly care - they usually have titles like unplanned care or something. They're not necessarily a nurse. Ask them if patient outcomes are important and see if you can find the lead GP for care of the elderly and talk to him/ her about medical staffing. The trust may not be able to fund it but you could e.g. get an associate specialist using sessional GP time (some PCTs have a list of who has specialist experience - dermatology, urology etc) using an honorary contract. It would be cost neutral for your hospital but the commissioner would have to negotiate with the practice. I've done this for emergency services and OOH.
    Post back if you can, I'd like to help.

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  • Susan Markham

    Does anyone else remember the UK programme called "Police 5" fronted by Shaw Taylor (Whispering Grass) "Keep 'em peeled!" - asking viewers to be vigilant about crime?

    Well I think that Nurses (and relatives) need a similar service where they can leave hints and tips to the police service - NOT the local area Health Authority/Trust/NMC/politician/government agency...

    Anonymity was guaranteed and they had a great success rate (so much so that a contract was taken out on Taylor's life!)

    He never got terminated... so should we be worried?

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  • tinkerbell

    Susan Markham | 20-Feb-2013 9:32 pm

    yes i also remember dixon of dock green and emergency ward 10 and watch with mother.

    But seriously i think if we can get some media coverage it would be great. This does seem like an opportunity for nurses to put their case forward to the public from a nursing perspective that we don't have the staff to do our jobs properly and despite all our protestations no one is listening to US as nurses despite all the scandals that are coming to light because most managers don't want to hear staffs concerns or try to tell us we are lucky to have a job if we raise concerns.

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