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Your 5 minutes news summary: 17 September 2016

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Early results from two pilot schemes in England that are diverting patients away from busy A&E departments have shown success, an investigation by Nursing Times has revealed. The schemes at Royal Bolton Hospital and Queen’s Hospital in Romford indicate patients who arrive at A&E with minor conditions can safely be sent home with basic advice on self-care or information on getting a GP appointment.

The high-profile fitness to practise case involving Pauline Cafferkey took place this week with the nurse being cleared of all charges of misconduct. The Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing concluded Ms Cafferkey, who survived ebola after volunteering in Sierra Leone in 2014, was exhausted and affected by the illness when she failed to alert health officials to her high temperature upon returning to the UK.

Under a controversial recruitment initiative, newly-recruited nurses and midwives at East and North Hertfordshire Trust are being offered better salaries if they opt out of the NHS pension scheme. Unions have criticised the move, which the trust said it had introduced to compete with staffing agencies that offer higher pay rates.

Children’s palliative care is suffering due to a shortage of nurses working in the specialty, a charity has warned Nursing Times, as it prepared to launch a campaign to promote this area of work.

Meanwhile, the Royal College of Midwives has issued a warning that midwifery shortages could worsen following Brexit if European Union staff were unable to work in the UK. Analysis of official data showed 1,192 full-time NHS midwives were from other EU countries.

Finally, bed pressures that resulted in patients sleeping on sofas have been highlighted in a report on mental health and community provider Oxleas Foundation NHS Trust by the Care Quality Commission. The trust was rated “requires improvement” overall and told to address patient admission and bed management problems in its mental health acute care wards.

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