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Senior nurses working the floor has 'little impact' on patients


“Back to the floor” initiatives, where senior nurses work weekly shifts on wards, appear to have little “tangible” impact on patient experience or care, according to a study by NHS London.

Researchers surveyed patients and held focus groups with 20 staff and interviewed 45 nurses.

They found staff perceived some positive themes from the initiative such as “empowerment, learning together, communication, championing change and matron power”.

But they said “tangible evidence of improvements [for patients] were more difficult to identify”.

We’re going viral! Have you friends heard about the ‘seat on the board’ petition? Let’s ensure nurses are actively involved in the new commissioning consortia.


Readers' comments (23)

  • thats about right!

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  • Yeah absolutley agree 100% with this: these "senior nurses" are poor managers and even worse nurses GET RID!

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  • 'Empowerment, learning together, communication, championing change and matron power'.
    Yes these are important attributes though I might dispute the meaning of 'Matron power'as quite an oppressive term. There are quite enough bullies who make it to nurse manager level and seem immune to accountability both to their peers and the profession for poor qualities of leadership!!
    and this is a situation that is not improving.
    Still sometimes a good manager who actually cares about what nurses are doing in the wards , cares about their welfare and that of their patients and the environment in which care is delivered! seems to be a rare event these days. So this must be of benefit to the profession.

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  • When I was a Nurse Tutor, (a long time ago,) our Head of School, then also the Chairman of The English National Board, insisted that all teaching staff spent a day a week on the wards. We were not counted on the 'off duty' and had no Managerial responsibilities. We just found a student to work alongside and learnt from each other.

    This was extremely empowering and the students and patients loved it. We had the time, that rare commodity these days, to give Gold standard care. This sort of experience can not be measured or evaluated but was certainly valued and appreciated.

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  • we are in 2011 know and the goverment has changed alot but 10:07 and 10:29 on the 27th feb you are on the right wave length but know matter what you do it is not enough

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  • Senior nurses are bad nurses??? Who is that person? I have to work on the wards and I get through the work more efficiently and as well as if not better than some other nurses on the ward. In addition to the basic care, I tidy the bed area, do the daily safety check, fill in the paperwork, discharge plan, teach students and liaise with the other trained nurses, health care assistants and doctors. I assist patients with meals. On my ward, I suction, do PEG feeding, complex plastice surgery free flap - don't tell me I am useless. I EVEN converse with my patients while I am working to assess how they are feeling and get to know them! THEN, I go and do my own work. Audit of patients in my care has been excellent.

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  • nadine woogara

    This would be a great paper to discuss in Journal Club! Send in your thoughts to !

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  • I find 27-Feb-2011 10:07 am's comments quite offensive and really way off the mark. Most managers I have worked for actually care for the patients well being and are good leaders as well. Does the writer actually feel he or she could do a far better job without them in position? Who would they have to complain to when they feel they are being worked too hard? Leaders are a necessary part of the work force and I feel it adds a certain amount of comraderie amongst staff if the manager works the same as the staff on the ward. Maybe the person who made the comments feels unfairly treated because they actually have to do some work and would prefer to sit at the station all day and scan the internet. Nursing is a hard job and sometimes someone has to take the responsibility of being a manager, and occasionally they are unable to perform all the nursing duties because of the paperwork. BUT this does not make them poor nurses or managers! The system would collapse if we got rid of them.

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  • I’m sorry but in my experience these senior nurses (non-clinical 7’s and 8’s) are poor managers and even poorer nurses as they’ve not kept themselves up to date with contemporary nursing practice. It’s not their fault: as you don’t really need to keep yourself up-to-date when your whole working day is spent searching endlessly for handbags on Ebay or booking concert tickets. Bless them they do work hard!

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  • Here's a question for you: what impact would there be on patient care if the Modern Matron of whichever ward, department or team you work in wasn't there for the foreseeable future?

    Honestly, where I work, the answer would be zero impact. I’d be interested if my experience is replicated elsewhere or whether I’m unlucky enough to be the only nurse in the UK surrounded by complete and utter dross when it comes to management.

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