News In Brief
- NMC sanctions could be made more stringent as a result of a consultation published last week by the body overseeing all nine healthcare regulators. The Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence is asking stakeholders whether fitness to practise sanctions should be harmonised across all regulators.
- Dirty ambulances could be spreading infection, Unison warned last week. ‘Ambulance cleanliness is a key factor in the battle against healthcare-associated infections and the standards laid down should be strictly applied,’ said Sam Oestreicher, Unison’s national officer for ambulance staff.
- The Scottish Government is to spend £54m to tackle HCAIs over the next three years. Hospitals will target skin, soft tissue and bloodstream infections and improve hand hygiene. A one-year pilot to screen patients for MRSA will be set up and boards will be expected to prove 90% compliance with hand hygiene targets by December 2008.
- Guidance has been produced to protect nurses in Wales from workplace bullying. The document, drawn up by unions and the Welsh Assembly, will remind NHS organisations that they must provide a working environment free from violence, aggression and harassment.
- The government is consulting on a strategy to improve healthcare for people in the criminal justice system. The consultation, which runs until 4 March 2008, covers a range of aspects including equity of care between private and public sector prisons and improving services in police and court cells.
- Unison branch secretary and community psychiatric nurse Karen Reissmann, who was sacked by her trust last month for allegedly bringing it into disrepute, is appealing the decision this week. The hearing at Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust is expected to last 3–4 days (NT News, 27 November, p8).
- The NMC has issued advice for nurses administering Botox, clarifying the position on use of remote prescriptions. NMC professional adviser Liz Plastow said prescribers are liable for prescribing the drug but nurses are accountable for assessing patients and administering it.
- Two independent hospitals for adults with mental health problems are to be built in Wales. Surehaven Ltd is to build two 16-bed low-security units – one in Pembrokeshire and one in Neath, Port Talbot. The company also plans to build specialist units in England and Scotland.
- The Commons health select committee has launched an inquiry into how the NHS can help reduce health inequalities. It will look at the distribution and quality of GP services, effectiveness of public health services, interventions to tackle inequalities and the government’s role in tackling the issue.
- The Queen’s Nursing Institute is inviting nominations for its Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Award for Outstanding Service 2008. The award is presented to nurses who have given exceptional service in primary care. Nominees must have practised in the community for at least 10 years. The closing date is 28 February 2008.