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Round-up of June 2019’s main workforce and policy news affecting UK nurses

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Miss any of the news affecting the profession during June 2019? Catch up with our summary of the main nursing headlines.

 

NMC considers advanced nurse regulation as part of review

nmc building

nmc building

A new commitment has been made by the Nursing and Midwifery Council to look at introducing a system of regulation for advanced nurse practitioners.

The NMC is reconsidering the role it plays in regulation beyond initial registration of nurses, midwives and nursing associates, following an initial review that indicated a clear a desire for the NMC to regulate advanced practice nursing.

Many participants in the review “expressed concern and at times frustration” about the lack of regulation of advanced nurse practitioners, and felt it was being left to local employers to decide who delivered care in what role.

“There are repeated calls from across all stakeholder and registrant groups for the NMC to widen the discussion and become involved in the regulation of advanced practice,” said the review.

“There is a patchwork of education of advanced and specialist practice across the UK and there is the opportunity to draw this together and rationalise under the leadership of the regulator,” it said.

“There is a patchwork of education of advanced and specialist practice across the UK”

NMC review

In response, the NMC has formally agreed to explore the idea, which has been the subject of ongoing debate for many years.

The NMC said it would now look at whether new post-registration standards should be situated in advanced practice frameworks and start an engagement process with external stakeholders.

However, the overhaul could see the NMC alter the standards that underpin the education and practice of specialist community nurses such as health visitors and district nurses. The review determined that specialist community public health nurse and specialist practitioner qualification standards were “not fit for purpose” and were not widely understood.

 

Nurses encourage people with learning disabilities to ‘get active’ 

mencap liverpool

Learning Disability Awareness Week 2019

Learning Disability Awareness Week 2019

Nurses and other healthcare professionals took part in different activities and initiatives across the country to mark Learning Disability Awareness Week 2019, which also came as staff celebrated 100 years of the specialty. Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber Foundation Trust and Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group created a primary health and care passport to help nursing staff provide the right treatment for patients with a learning disability or autism.

 

Value us or risk losing us, warn learning disability nurses

graphic from celebrate me

graphic from celebrate me

Graphic from Celebrate Me report

Learning disability nursing must be recognised as an “equal and valuable” branch in the profession to safeguard its future for the next 100 years, according to research by the Foundation of Nursing Studies, which comes amid growing fear about the dramatic fall in the number of staff and students.

 

Exclusive: New ‘pillars’ to improve learning disability care

Jim Blair

Jim Blair

Jim Blair

A leading nurse has developed a guide to help staff implement national standards of care for people with a learning disability. Consultant nurse in learning disabilities, Jim Blair, has created four “pillars of evidence” to help staff deliver NHS Improvement standards introduced across the NHS last year.

 

NHS People Plan promises action to address ‘urgent’ shortages

ing 19060 72660

Nursing Students

Addressing the nursing shortages is labelled as a “urgent” priority in a new workforce strategy for England’s health service. The Interim NHS People Plan was published on 3 June, setting out a range of measures on staffing with plans for recruitment, education, continuing professional development.

 

Nearly one in 10 healthcare staff sexually harassed at work

Ohio State University

Depression in nurses ‘increases likelihood of making errors’

Nurses have been victims of sexual insults, groping and even rape while at work, according to a survey by the union Unison, which suggests that nearly one in 10 healthcare staff have been sexually harassed in the past year. Only one in five had reported it to human resources or their managers.

 

Nurses recognised in the 2019 Queen’s birthday honours list

Honours

MBE

Leading nurses from the world of research, the charity sector and the military were among those recognised with birthday honours from the Queen this year.

 

Bursary extended until 2020 for student nurses in Wales

Finance

Money

The NHS bursary for student nurses, midwives and allied health professionals in Wales will continue to be in place in 2020, it has been announced by ministers.

 

Global campaign calls for gender equality across nurse leadership

NHS Improvement

Nurses told to use A&E checklist to ‘ensure safety over winter’

Leaders of the international Nursing Now campaign are lobbying to strengthen gender equality across the global nursing workforce, after their report highlighted that only 25% of health system leaders were women.

 

Newspaper criticised for ‘outdated’ portrayal of nurses

nurse with computer opt

nurse with computer opt

A national newspaper has admitted its description of nurses as doctors’ assistants was out of step with the realities of the role after coming under fire from the profession. The Guardian was accused of perpetuating “outdated” stereotypes in its article.

 

Lincolnshire health visitors balloted on strike action over pay

Lincolnshire: eyeing savings of £14m through redesign

Lincolnshire

Nearly 60 health visitors in Lincolnshire were balloted in June by their union on taking strike action in a dispute over the transfer of their pay and conditions from the NHS to a council. The local authority has withheld annual pay rises for staff transferred from the NHS but still on Agenda for Change.

 

Exclusive: Plans revealed to integrate district and practice nursing

leeds map

leeds map

District and general practice nurses are coming together to work side-by-side in Leeds, as part of ambitious integration plans to free up staff time by reducing duplication. The work is led by Steph Lawrence, executive nursing director at Leeds Community Healthcare Trust and Leeds GP Confederation.

 

Northern Ireland to introduce nurse-led police custody care model

psni nurses cropped

psni nurses cropped

Specially trained nurses will be in place across all custody suites in Northern Ireland before the end of next year, police chiefs have said. The country is moving towards a nurse-led model of healthcare on the frontline of its justice system to deliver holistic support to often vulnerable detainees.

 

Hospital taps often home to slime and biofilm, warn researchers

Faucets

Hospital taps

Dirty hospital taps may be helping spread infections as an unintended consequence of clinical staff being encouraged to wash their hands more often, warn researchers. They highlighted that water splashing out of a sink could spread germs present on dirty taps.

 

Hospital insects found to ‘harbour drug-resistant bacteria’

Insects

Flies

Insects found in hospitals may pose a risk to infection prevention efforts, Aston University researchers have warned. More than 50% of bacteria recovered from flying insects in a group of English hospitals were found to be resistant to one or more antibiotics.

 

Working long hours ‘increases the risk of having a stroke’

Time

Clock on wall

People who work long hours have been found to have a higher risk of stroke, especially if they work those hours for a decade or more, according to French researchers.

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