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The Nursing Times weekly round-up: 8th - 14th February

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

Top stories:

Managers should work with frontline staff

Managers should work with frontline staff

It’s been said before, but further research into staffing levels this week gives ammunition to the argument that the more training staff have had, the safer a ward will be. The study suggests a link between a higher proportion of healthcare assistants per patient and a rise in mortality.

guys hospital student nurses demonstrating against bursary removal

guys hospital student nurses demonstrating against bursary removal

This week, healthcare students joined medics on the picket lines with an hour-long placement walkout. Student nurses taking part explained that they would not have trained if they had been forced to take out a loan to cover tuition fees and day-to-day costs, due to the debts they would have incurred.

More on this story:

It seems some members of parliament agree that the removal of bursaries will affect recruitment and retention, as 60 MPs have signed an early day motion calling for the government to withdraw its plans to scrap bursaries.

Also in the news:

Welsh Assembly passes ‘historic’ nurse staffing levels bill
A “more nurses” bill has been passed by the Welsh Assembly, leaving it only needing the relative formality of royal assent before it becomes legislation.

The bill, which has now completed stage four of the law-making process, will require the setting of minimum nurse staffing levels for acute wards.

Agencies struggle to meet NHS demand following pay cap
The impact of hourly pay caps on agency nurses is being felt across the NHS. A survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, revealed 80% of 97 agencies that responded said they could only supply staff for up to half of the requests made by the NHS in January. It is thought that agencies are struggling to persuade workers to take on shifts because of lower rates of pay.

Nursing labelled one of top ‘recession proof’ jobs
Analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics by recruitment firm Randstad Care has found that the collective wages paid to nurses across the country has risen 23% in the past 12 years.

This is despite an average real terms cut to individual nurse salaries of around 5% in the same period, according to the analysis.


RCM backs ‘rethink’ on women with babies in prison
“I want us to find alternative ways of dealing with women offenders with babies, including through tagging, problem-solving courts and alternative resettlement units,” David Cameron has said. He questioned whether it was “right” for babies to be “behind bars”, given the importance of early years for child development, and is looking at piloting alternative schemes.

Jenni Middleton

Jenni Middleton index

From the editor:

‘Will measuring care hours cost us more?’

From April this year, the number of “care hours per patient day” delivered by nurses and healthcare assistants should become the principal measure of hospitals’ use of nursing staff.

Read more…

Clinical articles:

Using the real world to develop nurses’ skills

  • Details of the teaching module and walking exercise
  • What nurses can learn by observing the real world
  • Themes about the healthiness of communities

The risks and benefits of suprapubic catheters

  • Indications for indwelling suprapubic catheterisation
  • Situations when suprapubic catheters should not be used
  • How to manage a patient with a suprapubic catheter

Research with and by people with learning disabilities

  • How people with learning disability are excluded from research
  • Consequences of this group’s exclusion
  • Characteristics of inclusive learning disability research

New guidance to improve continence care

  • Why continence services are important
  • Roles and responsibilities of health professionals
  • How continence services should be organised

Clinical facts: Zika virus

What you need to know about the Zika Virus….. as the number of babies born with brain deformities is increasing in Brazil and the surrounding region; experts are suggesting there may be a link.

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Opinion and Analysis:

  • ‘Leaders should work to improve conditions for BMEs’
    I feel strongly that a diverse workforce inspires cultural awareness and cohesion in society. But while black and minority ethnic (BME) groups make up nearly 30% of the workforce of the NHS, unfortunately, BME staff are under-represented in senior professional nursing positions.
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