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The Nursing Times weekly round-up: 18 – 24th January 2016

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Your must-read guide to what’s happening in nursing this week

Top story:

Nurse hospital doctor

The Nursing Times weekly round-up

Suppressed NICE safe staffing guidance for hospital emergency departments called for the NHS to implement minimum nurse ratios to ensure safe care, it was revealed this week.

The research has also found that NHS accident and emergency departments in England may be understaffed as much as half the time because of inadequate systems to predict patient demand.

After safe-staffing guidance work by NICE was halted last June, questions have been asked about what the research and analysis uncovered and why this wasn’t publically available. This week, leaked documents meant we finally found out.

The guidance suggested trusts should plan expected attendance by increasing the historical data by one standard deviation measure and that analysis undertaken following the January 2015 publication of draft guidelines had shown this would reduce periods of excess demand to 15% of the time.

Had NICE’s safe-staffing guidance continued as planned, accident and emergency departments would have had minimum staffing ratios as well as a range of other measures to reduce over-crowding and short-staffing.

More on this story:

NICE experts called for minimum staff ratios in cancelled A&E guidance, reveals leak

NICE guidance suggests A&Es could be understaffed ‘half the time’

NICE finally releases evidence documents for cancelled safe nurse staffing guidance

Trusts should use leaked A&E guidance, says royal college


Also in the news:

More nurses must be recruited to practice nursing to alleviate the workforce crisis

More nurses must be recruited to practice nursing to alleviate the workforce crisis

Nurses reject future merger of practice and district roles
Practice nurses are “not interchangeable” with district nurses, according to a major new report, which reveals overwhelming frontline opposition to the idea of the two roles being merged.

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Eileen Sills

‘Agitator’ label spurred nurse to become first ‘whistleblowing guardian’

The chief nurse appointed as the first national NHS whistleblowing guardian for England has revealed her own experiences of being labelled an “agitator” during her career are what drove her to take on the role.

Signing paper

Signing paper

Plans to change nurse break-times spark petition
Nurses at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are effectively being asked to do a shift a month unpaid amid proposed changes to working patterns, it has been claimed.


Jenni Middleton

Jenni Middleton index

From the editor:

‘Nurses should lead the culture change’

“The appointment of Dame Eileen Sills to be the first national guardian for the freedom to speak up within the NHS is a significant one for nursing and for the health service.

“It’s fantastic that a nurse has been chosen to head up this important piece of work, which is intended to change the culture of the NHS. And let’s face it, the culture needs to change.”

Read more…

Clinical articles:

Nasal cannula ONE USE

Nasal cannula ONE USE

Spotlight on… Oxygen therapy

Oxygen is vital for cell metabolism and low levels of circulating oxygen in the body resulting in hypoxia can be life-threatening. Given the importance of oxygen in maintaining life many health professionals wrongly assume that oxygen therapy can only have beneficial effects.
Read more…

Practical procedures: oxygen therapy

  • · The rationale for using oxygen therapy in acute illness
  • · Available oxygen delivery devices and indications for use
  • · The need for monitoring while administering oxygen therapy

A hands-on teaching aid for pressure ulcer prevention

  • · Using a pressure ulcer prevention teaching aid to update practice
  • · Incorporating the aid into an ongoing campaign

The right to be rude: managing of conflict

  • · Differentiating between inappropriate and abusive behaviour
  • · Causes and consequences of rudeness
  • · Strategies staff can implement to resolve conflicts

Using shared governance to empower nurses

  • · What is meant by the term ‘shared governance’
  • · Structures and models of shared governance
  • · The benefits of a shared-governance approach to care

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A problem shared…

One of the healthcare assistants on my ward is keen to become a nurse, and has recently begun asking to try procedures that I feel should be done by a registered nurse. I have not allowed her to undertake anything inappropriate, but am concerned that I may be discouraging her from trying to achieve her ambitions.

“Can anyone suggest ways I might encourage her but manage her enthusiasm?”

View the advice so far and share your own


Opinion and Analysis:

flu sneeze

swine flu sneeze cold tissue1

With just a 3% success rate last year, is it worth healthcare workers having the flu vaccine?

Last year something went wrong with the flu vaccine. In February 2015 it was estimated to be effective in just 3% of cases. Read what went wrong and join the debate on whether healthcare workers should be having the vaccine.

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