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Weekly news summary: 5 November 2016

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Details of what the forthcoming nursing associate role in England will be trained to do have emerged this week, including the ability to calculate drug doses and independently administer controlled medications. 

According to documents laying out the draft curriculum that were leaked to Nursing Times’ sister title, Health Service Journal, nursing associates will also be able to carry out invasive procedures and recognise deteriorating patients. The revelations sparked warnings of a “recipe for confusion” about the difference between associates and nurses.

A trust in Birmingham has admitted it was at fault following the death of a patient who was administered a drug by an unsupervised healthcare assistant during a home visit. In a recent board report, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust acknowledged the HCA was not directly supervised on the visit and this was not in line with its medicines code.

Revamped children and young people services are being consulted on in local authorities across England which could affect nurse jobs and roles. Local councils in Manchester, Essex, Solihull and Slough, are among those looking to make a range of changes at the same time as their budgets have been reduced. Meanwhile, nurses who will lead redesigned public health services for children in Cumbria have defended the plans, saying they will provide better support for families.

The proposals, agreed by Cumbria County Council last month, will increase caseloads for health visitors and see the end of traditional school nursing service and family nurse partnership scheme and have been previously described as “devastating”.

Survival in the immediate aftermath of a stroke is substantially affected by the ratio of trained nurses to patients, a new UK study has found. Researchers at the University of Aberdeen and the University of East Anglia said this was contrary to expectations that other factors, such as the proportion of acute and rehab beds, might have a greater impact on survival.

Around 5,000 UK nurses have left the register in three months by choosing not to go through revalidation or by failing to meet its requirements, suggests latest data from the Nursing and Midwifery Council. However, the regulator said the 5% drop off was “in line with previous years” before the new system of competency checks was introduced. The NMC’s latest quarterly report on revalidation reveals that 75,513 nurses and midwives successfully revalidated during July, August and September out of 80,668 who were due to go through the process, representing 93.6%.

The charity behind the successful campaign for a statue of Mary Seacole will continue under a new name and structure to ensure the Crimea nursing pioneer’s legacy will “inspire future generations”. The Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal – which in the summer saw the unveiling of Mary Seacole’s statue in the grounds of St Thomas’ Hospital in London - has become the Mary Seacole Trust.

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