Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Clinical news summary: Top nurse research and practice stories from September 2018

  • Comment

Miss any of the clinical and practice news affecting the profession during September 2018? Catch up with our summary of the main study headlines and clinical breakthroughs.


Hospital introduces ‘magic tables’ to stimulate dementia patients



Source: Tovertafel

The ‘magic table’ being used by people with dementia

The Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading has become the first district general in the UK to equip itself with so-called “magic tables” for patients with dementia.

Costing from around £7,000, the Tovertafel device projects light onto a table below, allowing patients to take part in various games to help stimulate brains and social interaction.

Invented in Holland in 2014, Tovertafel means “magic table” in Dutch. There are currently about 300 of them across the UK. The Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust has five – one on each of its elderly care wards – meaning it has the biggest concentration of any site in the UK. They were paid for by the Royal Berkshire’s charity.

Sharon Herring, the trust’s director of nursing, said the Tovertafel could help nurses. “Where you are doing one-to-one care you may be able to stop that and have one nurse with five people and cohort your patients together,” she said.

“Watching the patients’ reactions, it’s amazing how much they changeW

Sharon Herring

One game involves a ball being projected onto the table that players can push back and forth with their hands, trying to keep the ball on the table. In another, the patients get a dustpan and brush and try to sweep up leaves that are projected onto the table.

“Watching the patients’ reactions, it’s amazing how much they change. They can go from uncommunicative to animated,” said Ms Herring said. “It’s quite moving when you see them.”

Often there are some patients who want to leave the ward but the Tovertafel can help to reduce the anxiety that patients feel, she said.


Health visitor invents game to help kids get good nights sleep

Focus Games

The Sleep Game

Source: Focus Games

A specialist health visitor in Sussex has developed an innovative board game to help promote the importance of a good night’s sleep for children. Queen’s nurse Ruth Silverman, who provides training on sleep issues, hopes the interactive resource – called The Sleep Game – will raise awareness and help ensure professionals working with children and families provide the best advice.



Child drinking milk

The widely held belief that milk boosts phlegm production and worsens respiratory conditions, from asthma to the common cold, is a myth, argues a children’s health expert. There is no need to avoid giving milk to children with asthma, cystic fibrosis, or respiratory infections, said Dr Ian Balfour-Lynn.


Nurses urged to verify ’penicillin allergy’ to avoid MRSA and C diff

MRSA is a relatively common feature of many surgical site infections

MRSA is a relatively common feature of many surgical site infections

Healthcare staff are being urged to ensure only patients with a true penicillin allergy are documented as such to protect them from hospital infections. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has issued the warning, after new research found people labelled as having a penicillin allergy were at increased risk of developing MRSA and Clostridium difficile.


Most common kidney disease symptoms identified in study

Kidney Xray anatomy

Kidney Xray anatomy

Researchers have created a questionnaire that highlights the 13 most common and troublesome symptoms experienced by patients with non-dialysis kidney disease. The Kidney Symptom Questionnaire was developed at the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester Trust.


Primary care falls prevention plan ‘reduces older admissions’

old man stick falls hand3

Older adults given a falls prevention plan in primary care settings are less likely to be hospitalised, according to a US study by nurse researchers. It found the Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI) initiative lowered the number of falls-related admissions among older adults compared to not giving any falls prevention care plan.


Risks of daily aspirin outweigh benefits for healthy older adults

generic aspirin

Taking a daily dose of aspirin does not prolong healthy living in older adults who have not previously experienced a cardiovascular event, according to an international trial. It questions idea of using aspirin for so-called cardiovascular primary prevention in older people, with the risk of bleeding caused by the drug outweighing any benefits.


Specialist nurse gets grant to study ‘living well with cancer’



A research grant of £8,000 has been awarded to clinical nurse specialist, Karen Lord, to study the realities of living well with cancer. Karen Lord, based in Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, will research the realities of life for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma. This grant was awarded by Mesothelioma UK and the National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses.


Fish oil supplements in pregnancy stimulate later child growth

University of Glasgow/University of Aberdeen

Fish oil pills ‘improve muscle function’ in older women

Source: Marco Almbauer

Salmon oil capsule

Taking fish oil supplement during pregnancy is linked to an increase in infant lean and bone mass by the age of six years, according to Danish and UK researchers. Overall, they found fish oil supplementation in the later stages of pregnancy was associated with a higher body mass index in children in the first six years of life, but with no increase in fat mass.


Eight in 10 with breast cancer not told of possible mental health impact

Mental Health Postnatal Depression

Postnatal Depression

Eight in 10 women with breast cancer in England are not told about the possibility of developing long-term anxiety and depression by healthcare professionals, two charities have warned. Breast Cancer Care and Mind have united to call for mental health after breast cancer to be made a priority.


Charity calls for hospital nurses to be ‘hypo aware’ in at-risk patients


Patients ‘at risk’ over failure to recognise diabetes subtype

Insulin syringes

One in five inpatients with diabetes – around 58,000 – had a “hypo” in hospital last year, according to data, sparking a charity to call on health professionals to more aware of the symptoms. Diabetes UK made the plea during Hypo-awareness Week, which takes place from 24- 30 September.


New anaesthetic formula developed that tastes of chocolate

University of Western Australia

Sam Salmon

Source: University of Western Australia

Sam Salmon

An anaesthetic formula that makes bad-tasting medicine taste better has been developed by researchers from the University of Western Australia, who say it could make it easier to treat sick children. They now hope to see the formula, which tastes of chocolate, introduced across the world.



  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs