Nursing Times broke the story last week that the Westminster government was willing to at least consider introducing safe staffing laws.
The Nursing Times Awards always fill me with admiration for nurses, but this year was particularly special for me personally because it was my first as editor.
'Why is respiratory rate so often ignored?'Subscription
Respiratory rate (RR) is a vital sign and even a change of as little as three to five breathes a minute can be an early indication of deterioration.
This week saw welcome attention in Westminster focused on mental health care, but as ever there were caveats and, as usual, they mainly concerned nurse staffing levels.
There is something about car parking – or rather, having to pay for the privilege – that is inherently annoying.
'The government needs to bring back the bursary'Subscription
While one particular ‘B-word’ has dominated the national agenda for what seems like an eternity, over the past week Nursing Times readers have been much more interested in another topic beginning with the same letter. I speak, of course, about Brexit and bursaries.
The flurry of press releases this week signalled the approach of World Mental Health Day, as did the timing of a few new policy pledges from the UK governments and their arm’s-length bodies.
Nurses and the wider NHS workforce are rightly viewed as the service’s most precious resource. But, as has been well documented by Nursing Times, it is also a resource that has been neglected in recent years with a multitude of pressures building up, seemingly without end.
'It’s time to stop talking about moving healthcare into the community – just get on and do it'Subscription
The need to provide more services in community settings is certainly not a new idea. In fact, it’s probably mentioned in some way or another at almost every healthcare event I attend.
On several occasions over recent weeks I have found myself explaining to people what sepsis is, its symptoms and why it’s something that needs tackling. These conversations have taken place both in the office and also among friends.
'Will these words be turned into actions?'Subscription
It is still very early days for the new health and social care secretary to fully reveal his approach and ideas for the NHS, but so far Matt Hancock seems to be saying at least some of the right things.
Conversations about health and social care almost inevitably include some discussion of the financial pressures they are under. But this month, we reveal their personal impact on nurses, which can also translate into problems for services.
Virtually everyone who has ever had a job has experience of being managed and many will also have experience of being managers in their own right.
Monday’s announcement that yet another of the country’s nursing leaders was exiting the stage at the end of August was not wholly unexpected.
The case of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, who has won her appeal against being struck off the medical register, is legally, emotionally and practically complex.
The group of nurses, therapists and care home managers who have been harnessing the power of social media to draw attention to the negative impact of plastic spouted beakers should be applauded. As those behind the #endplasticspoutedbeakers campaign point out, these often-unnecessary vessels “infantilise” older people.
'How difficult can it be to take a glass of water, put it to a patient’s lips and get them to drink?'Subscription
Most readers of Nursing Times know just how difficult it can be to get patients to drink.
'No cure is imminent, but dementia research and practice offer other reasons for optimism'Subscription
Dementia is increasingly something that touches us all, both professionally and in our personal circle of friends and family.
Some patients and groups are always going to be hard to reach in terms of providing care.
'Why does the NHS use insecure and archaic technology to transfer patient information?'Subscription
It’s not often these days that I read a headline that I am genuinely surprised by. But this was certainly the case last week.
A new broom suddenly looks set to sweep through the corridors of the Department of Health and Social Care.
This month, like the rest of the country, Nursing Times will be helping the NHS celebrate its 70th birthday.
I was on holiday last week and it was with an element of dread that I started to see the name Gosport War Memorial Hospital mentioned in the national media and then, on checking my emails, a wave of press releases coming through about it.
The threat to school nursing seems to be growing. This is something that surely must be fought at all costs by anyone with a stake in public health or the wellbeing of children – which is basically all of us in one way or another.
Union members have now spoken, with the majority voting in favour of the pay offer that will see Agenda for Change staff receive 6.5% over three years.
NHS staff have displayed “incredible resilience” in meeting unprecedented patient demand this winter, according to a report from NHS Improvement last week.
'We need a strong leader now more than ever'Subscription
The news last week that the chief nursing officer for England role could be realigned to sit across both NHS Improvement and NHS England when Jane Cummings departs her role could weaken nursing’s voice further at a senior level.
Nurses don’t get paid much, they work long hours with often unpaid overtime, and it’s a job with few freebies.
When I talk to members of the public about nursing, I know what mental images they have got in their heads - nurses in uniforms, working on wards and helping (usually older) people in and out of bed.
Learning disability nurses are a pretty vocal bunch. They have to be. Often regarded as the Cinderellas of the profession, they have learnt to stand up for their service users and themselves. And they’re pretty good at it.
National workforce planning is the most important item on anyone’s agenda at the moment. In fact, it is pretty much the only item on the agenda that anyone should be talking about.
May is always a busy time for Nursing Times. There is RCN congress and, at the start of the month, a flurry of requests for us to speak at trusts’ International Nurses Day celebrations.
'This week nurses stood together'Subscription
There have been many times – nurse Isabel Amaro in the Bawa-Garba case is the most recent example – when nurses have berated their profession for not standing together and not standing up for each other when the chips are down.
The days of nurses being a handmaiden to doctors are long gone. That role would be almost unrecognisable to nurses graduating now.
The NHS has a tendency to divide people’s opinion. Write about an issue to do with our health service, especially on social media, and you get a lot of debate and often much disagreement.
On the way home from an appointment a few weeks ago, I turned the radio on, and heard actor Helen Mirren being interviewed. She was talking about the importance of self-worth. She was suggesting it was often in short supply for young people these days as they felt the value they contributed was not enough.
You literally could not make up what is happening in nursing and nurse education right now.
Are you prepared to give up a day of your holiday in return for a 6.5% pay increase over three years?
You’d expect nurses to be the most liberal, compassionate and empathetic of colleagues, and I am sure many are.
How should we challenge violence and aggression?Subscription
Hospital accident and emergency staff have become resigned to patient violence and aggression.
Ever watched that film Groundhog Day? The one where Bill Murray wakes up every morning and relives the same day?
'A royal endorsement for nursing is welcome'Subscription
Next week will see the launch of a new campaign that will champion nurses and ensure the public understands the profession’s place as the lynchpins of care.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. It might be a day of romance for many, filled with hearts and flowers and a little bit of intrigue, but I am not sure the government has got any sense of how to make nursing more attractive.
We don’t have enough nurses. We’ve got it wrong. We need to correct that fast.
'The nursing role will continue to evolve'Subscription
What should nurses delegate to unregistered staff?
The Commons’ health select committee released a major report on the nursing workforce on Friday, advising leaders that they needed to recruit nurses “at scale and pace”.
'Nurses are adaptable and able to change'Subscription
I sat next to a nurse at dinner this week, and he told me that he was extremely positive about the profession. I haven’t heard that for a while, so I asked him why.
'Action is needed now for the NHS to survive'Subscription
The slogan “winter is coming”, so famously coined by iconic politico-fantasy series Game of Thrones, could have been an advertisement for the state of the NHS in the run-up to the past few weeks.
Nursing associates are the most controversial topic in the profession right now.
This winter is set to be a bad one for the NHS. It’s something that might seem obvious to those of you out there at the moment, under pressure to provide care while under-resourced, explains NT editor, Jenni Middleton.