Analysis, interviews and investigations
The object in question resembles a toddler’s drinking cup. It’s plastic and there’s a lid from which protrudes a wide, circular spout. But you won’t find a Thomas the Tank Engine logo on it, as this receptacle – the plastic spouted beaker – is what many older patients in care homes and some NHS wards are given to drink from.
Making the most of digital technology can help tackle staffing shortages and ensure nurses spend more time on direct patient care, according to a nurse who hopes to convince others of the benefits.
Widespread shortages of nursing staff, chronic underfunding and an over-burdened health system struggling to cope – welcome to the new National Health Service in 1948.
The UK’s most widely-used safe staffing tool will need to evolve to take into account different types of nursing role, according to one of its architects, who says the profession must embrace the opportunities provided by new job titles and routes into nursing.
National efforts to stop nurses from leaving their jobs, and in some cases the profession altogether, have seen some employers reduce turnover, but it is still “very early days”, according to a senior nurse at England’s NHS regulator.
Nursing workforce shortages remain the “biggest issue” for the profession right now, with the risk of another situation like that at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust having never gone away, the leader of the Royal College of Nursing has warned.
Gaps in services are now appearing due to learning disabilities nursing workforce shortages while the pipeline of new nurses coming into the specialty is also at significant risk, sparking calls for a national campaign specifically focused on it to boost numbers.
The skills and ongoing development of the mental health nursing workforce must be recognised, including by nurses themselves, if a new drive to improve services is to be a success, according to a senior NHS leader and nurse.
The majority of nurses will never be able to scrape together enough to buy a home in the capital, according to the Royal College of Nursing’s new director for London, who warns more must be done to tackle the high living costs that are exacerbating staffing shortages.
The arrival of winter has become synonymous with missed waiting time targets, cancelled operations and efforts to redirect people away from accident and emergency departments.