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Round-up of last month’s main workforce and policy news affecting UK nurses

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Miss any of the news affecting the profession during February 2018? Catch up with our summary of the main nursing headlines.


Global nursing campaign launched by Duchess of Cambridge

Nursing Now

Global nursing campaign launched by Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess of Cambridge addresses the Nursing Now launch event in London

The Duchess of Cambridge has become patron of a new global campaign to raise the profile and status of nursing.

Along with nursing leaders from around the world, she attended an event on 27 February at St Thomas’ Hospital in London to launch the three-year Nursing Now campaign.

The campaign is intended to promote nursing as being at the heart of healthcare efforts around the world and to support nurses themselves to “lead, learn and build a global movement”. It is being run by the Burdett Trust for Nursing, with the International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization.

The duchess joined WHO chief nursing officer Elizabeth Iro and ICN president Annette Kennedy in calling on governments to “value nurses and champion their leadership”. Speaking at the launch, she said: “I’d like to congratulate and thank nurses everywhere for the difference you make. Nurses look after us at our happiest and saddest times. Your dedication is awe inspiring.”

“The Nursing Now campaign is about supporting nurses to lead, to learn and to strengthen the profession”

Sheila Tlou

Nursing Now was sparked by the findings of a 2016 report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health. It concluded that strengthening nursing globally would improve health and gender equality by empowering women and building stronger economies.

Campaign co-chair Professor Sheila Tlou said: “The Nursing Now campaign is about supporting nurses to lead, to learn and to strengthen the profession. We will equip them through training, support and the development of political leadership skills to take their rightful place at the table when decisions are being taken about the future shape of healthcare in their countries.”


Bullying among trust’s A&E nurses created ‘tribal culture’

Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation

Nurses’ Day kicks off recruitment drive for nursing staff

Arrowe Park Hopital

A bullying culture between emergency department nurses at Arrowe Park Hospital on Merseyside led to “tribal divisions” that were perpetuated by bosses failing to intervene, a report has found. The behaviour, targeted at newly-promoted band 6s, included undermining colleagues in front of more junior staff, challenging decisions, withholding information and claiming promotion was undeserved, said the report on the hospital run by Wirral University Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust.


Nurses bullied and harassed at trust obsessed with FT status

13 liverpool city

13 liverpool city


Patients were harmed unnecessarily and staff bullied and harassed at a community provider where managers were obsessed with achieving foundation status, according to a report, which described Liverpool Community Health Trust as “dysfunctional”. Staff were overstretched, demoralised and, in some instances, bullied, warned the report.

Nurses bullied and harassed at trust obsessed with FT status


New unit ‘tangible sign’ of changes at Morecambe Bay

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

New unit ‘tangible sign’ of changes at Morecambe Bay

Dr Bill Kirkup (centre)

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which was at the centre of a major review of maternity safety has marked the progress it has made in the last three years with the official opening of a new £12m birth centre. Dr Bill Kirkup, who wrote the 2015 report on care failings there, said: “This new unit is a tangible sign of a lot of changes that have happened at the trust.”


Nurse review focuses on why trusts fail on children’s services

Nurse with child


Source: Yuri Arcurs

A detailed review by senior nurses has identified “common themes” where trusts that are struggling with poor ratings for services for children and young people can look to improve. Trusts have been urged to improve nurse staffing levels, incident reporting and learning from serious incidents and senior leadership for children and young people’s services, following scrutiny by NHS Improvement.


Employer must name ‘safety critical’ drugs given by nursing associates

Public Health England

Campaign recognises ‘key role’ of nurses in preventing infection

Trainee nursing associates must be given adequate supervision when learning about medicines management but employers should name any “safety critical” drugs those in the new role will be expected to administer once qualified, according to guidance from Health Education England. It has been drawn up to ensure nursing associates can work “safely and appropriately,” said HEE.


NMC releases draft skills list for nursing associate training


The Nursing and Midwifery Council has unveiled a proposed list of over 90 procedures and communication skills that nursing associates should be trained in. The NMC stressed that a final draft version would be published for consultation in April, but it said it wanted “to allow people to see how the skills annex is developing”.


Applicants to nursing courses fall for second year since bursary end


Source: buket bariskan

The number of people from England applying to train as a nurse has fallen for a second year in a row, dropping by a further 13% compared with the same point in 2017. This is on top of a 23% reduction last year, meaning applicants are now down by around a third since the government opted to end bursaries and switch to loans. A total of 29,390 people have so far applied to study nursing next year, compared with 33,810 in 2017, said the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.


‘Short-sighted’ removal of bursaries for postgraduate student nurses

Empty purse

Empty purse

Postgraduate pre-registration nursing and midwifery students in England will no longer receive bursaries to cover their tuition fees and living costs. From August 2018, new postgraduate students will be required to take out loans to pay for their training, according to the Department of Health and Social Care. The move was labelled “short-sighted” by the Royal College of Nursing.


Extra regulation of advanced nurses would be ‘unwieldy’

Royal College of Nursing

Royal College of Nursing appoints new leader

Janet Davies

The Royal College of Nursing’s chief executive and general secretary has questioned whether extra regulation for nurses wanting to work at an advanced level is necessary. Janet Davies said any move to introduce compulsory regulation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council on top of that required to be a nurse would be expensive, potentially “unwieldy” and limit innovation.


Gaps in nurse training on care of learning disability patients


Training needed in care of patients with learning disability

Treat Me Well campaign image

Health professionals need more training in caring for patients with learning disabilities to end the “scandal” of 1,200 avoidable deaths a year, a charity has claimed. Mencap found 66% of health professionals wanted more training focused on patients with a learning disability, with 23% saying they had never attended specific training on the topic.


One in five nurses in care sector on ‘zero hours’ contracts

Alarm clock or watch

One in five nurses in care sector on ‘zero hours’ contracts

Nearly one in five nurses working in adult social care are on so-called “zero hours” contracts, according to the National Audit Office. It revealed that 19% of registered nurses working in the care sector in 2016-17 were on zero hours contracts. Vacancy rates among nurses have also more than doubled despite a falling number of jobs, and turnover among nursing staff is high.


New memorial to commemorate nurses from two world wars

Nursing Memorial Appeal

New memorial to commemorate nurses from the two world wars

Source: Nursing Memorial Appeal

Work on the sculpture

Nurses who died in the two world wars will be commemorated with a permanent memorial set to be unveiled this summer, if sufficient funds are raised. The sculpture is due to be officially unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum on 4 June. It follows a four-year campaign, now in the final stages of gathering donations, by the Nursing Memorial Appeal.


Shortlist for this year’s Student Nursing Times Awards revealed

Nursing student

Student nurse

The student nurses, educators and trusts that have been shortlisted for the Student Nursing Times Awards 2018 have been revealed. The winners will be announced on 26 April.


New weight management app ‘designed by nurses, for nurses’


New weight management app ‘designed by nurses, for nurses’


A free smartphone app has been launched to help nursing staff manage their weight. Those behind the NURSING YOU app, described as being “designed by nurses, for nurses”, include former Royal College of Nursing general secretary Christine Hancock.


Northern Ireland’s HCAs to be rebadged as nursing assistants

Northern Irish flag

Northern Ireland

Healthcare assistants in Northern Ireland are to be known in future as nursing assistants, the country’s Department of Health has said. The name change was revealed at the same time as the launch of new standards and an induction and development pathway for such support roles. A new framework for district nursing services in the country has also been published.


First test centre for overseas nurses opens in Northern Ireland

Ulster University

First NMC test centre for overseas nurses opens in Northern Ireland

Test centre at Magee Campus

A new Nursing and Midwifery Council competence test centre for overseas nurses who want to work in the UK has opened in Northern Ireland. The new purpose-built, designated centre is located at Ulster University’s Magee campus, which is home to its school of nursing.


Nursing staff take part in march against health service ‘crisis’

Students hold protest outside DH against end of bursaries

Students hold protest outside DH against end of bursaries

Students hold protest outside DH against end of bursaries

Nursing staff marched through London on Saturday 3 February, as part of a protest calling for more funding to put a stop to the NHS “crisis”. Organisers highlighted pressures on the NHS were now happening year-round and were in some cases leading to patients being left in overcrowded waiting rooms and hospital corridors.















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