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Nurses must be more efficient, says NHS director


Nurses need to increase their working efficiency more quickly than has been seen in recent years, the NHS national director for improvement and efficiency has said.

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Jim Easton said nurse leaders could build on work in the NHS Institute of Innovation and Improvement’s Productive Ward and Productive Community Services programmes, but would have to improve more quickly and widely.

He was brought into the Department of Health to make savings in response to the threat of investment cuts, and is leading its quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (QIPP) programme.

Mr Easton said: “We want to use those programmes as a base to support frontline staff. The issue is that we have done that at a reasonable scale and pace, but this challenge will demand us doing more of that more quickly.”

The Institute is working on how to respond, and on the link between its QIPP work and the high impact actions identified by DH chief nursing officer Dame Christine Beasley.

Dame Christine said nurses could potentially save the NHS more than £9bn a year by implementing the actions, which include avoiding pressure sores and malnutrition, and would also improve care for patients.


Readers' comments (8)

  • yeah right, a bit rubbish suggestion!

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  • Because of course we go out of our way to cause both pressure sores and malnutrition.
    do these people not realise that as nurses we would much prefer to not see cases of pressure sores or malnutrition, patients do come into hospital with both of these conditions

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  • Seems all about saving the NHS money again at the nurses expense!
    When will the NHS pay up on all the overtime OWED to thousands of nurses over the past how many years?....of which the system is well aware of.
    Jim and Christine would benifit from doing some " Voluntary work" on an acute ward....a real eye opener to the realities of nursing today....
    Gripe over!

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  • Craig Burley

    This comes as the BBC website states that the English NHS works more efficeintly with less nurse/medical staff per patient then in the other 3 NHS countries.

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  • and maybe we can each get a personal assistant or an answering service so that we don't have to deal with patient families or other less urgent calls/questions. How am I supposed to become more efficient when someone decides to come and delay me with a pointless conversation and questions despite the fact that I have a bedpan in my hand - should I have invited them into the room with me while I put the patient on bedpan. Maybe they could've helped me put the patient on the bedpan while questioning - that would've been efficient... I'd love to write more but I'm typing this with my toes while standing on my head and juggling some plates and whistling...

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  • Over the last 20 years since I have been in nursing, we have more paperwork to fill in & taken on more roles & tasks that other professions & colleagues did previously.
    We are expected to do tasks that doctors did previously e.g. IV drugs, Venepuncture, IV Cannulation, ECGs etc. Some wards have Pharmacist, so where those that don't the nurse is expected to perform some of the duties. IV Drugs previously prepared in pharmacy are now mixed on the ward, not by pharmacy technicians but by nurses.
    We are also expected to be physios, ward clerks and cleaners at times, especially out of hours or when these staff are absent (Annual Leave, sickness).
    With all these extra roles and tasks, are there more qualified nurses per shift on the wards? Of course not, and theres talk of cutting existing numbers!
    Maybe if we weren't so busy performing these roles we could actually be nurses and efficient ones at that!

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  • oh please. this buffoon needs to be fired immediately for being so out of touch that his comments are automatically invalidated.
    the productive ward is just a load of airy0 fairy guff designed to make nurses jump through a series of easily manipulated targets and pointless activities just to get a 60 minute makeover and adequate resources.

    it is an insult to our profession
    releasing time to care?!
    the last thing i need is more time with the patients.

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  • I seem to remember Gerry Robinson had all his attention focussed on the inefficiency of the consultants and the managers, v little was due to the nurses. In fact if I remember rightly the nurses were the ones who were praised rather a lot. Maybe a good test would be a shiny butt assessment and risk score tool for an efficiency rating. I wonder how this commission would fare?

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