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Give sisters control over budgets to improve patient dignity, says commission

  • 19 Comments

Sisters and charge nurses must be given more control over budgets in order to drive up patient dignity, a report on improving the care of older people has recommended.

The final report from the Commission on Improving Dignity in Care for Older People was published yesterday.

The document, titled Delivering Dignity, said ward managers should have “significant responsibility” for staffing and budgets, and should be able to control spending on equipment.

It called for sisters and charge nurses to take responsibility for ensuring the “right number of staff – with the right skills” were on shift, and to alert more senior managers if they thought this was not the case. It said managers in turn, had a responsibility to listen and act.

The report also recommended that providing emotional support to junior colleagues should be formally recognised as part of a ward manager’s role and that time be allocated for all staff to reflect on the care they have given to patients.

In addition, it called for student nurses to spend more time on older peoples’ wards as part of their training, and recommended nurses and doctors spend some training time together to enhance their understanding of each other’s roles.

The commission was set up by the NHS Confederation, Age UK and the Local Government Association to complement the public inquiry into the system failings surrounding Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.

Members of the commission included NHS London chief nurse Trish Morris-Thompson and Heather Tierney-Moore, a nurse and chief executive of Lancashire Care Foundation Trust. Last year they heard evidence from patients, carers and a range of organisations involved in providing care for patients in hospitals, the community and care homes.

The report also called for more regular reassessment of older patients to help prevent errors, such as patients being left nil by mouth unnecessarily, and ensure that pain and nutrition are managed effectively.

However, it rejected calls for a minimum nursing ratio for older people or the regulation of healthcare assistants.

Commission joint chair Keith Pearson said there was a need for a “major cultural shift” in the way the NHS thinks about dignity to ensure “care is person-centred and not task-focused”.

He added: “This will require empowered leadership on the ward and in the care home, as well as a lead from boards and senior managers. It will also mean changing the way we recruit and develop staff working with older people.”

An interim version of the report was published earlier this year.

  • 19 Comments

Readers' comments (19)

  • I thought ward managers already had a 'significant responsibility' for staffing and budgets - that's their job isn't it. Does anyone need to be officially told that providing emotional support to junior staff is part of a managers role.

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  • "It called for sisters and charge nurses to take responsibility for ensuring the “right number of staff – with the right skills” were on shift, and to alert more senior managers if they thought this was not the case."

    how do they do this if they do not have enough staff in the first place and they have little control over those who are absent due to sickness.

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  • speaking as a ward manager-tell us something we dont know?
    of course we are responsible for the budget ,interviewing staff,right skill mix etc,
    we support junior staff,senior staff and the matron half of the time!!!
    who supports the ward manager that what I want to know,answers on the back of a postage stamp please ............

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  • Toby Ornottoby

    The Nursing Times On-line does the tile of the article "Give sisters control over budgets to improve patient dignity, says commission"

    Sisters? Seriously? In 2012 we are still talking about Nuns and female relatives?

    How would the nursing community feel if the NT ran a headline like...

    "Give brothers control over budgets to improve patient dignity, says commission"

    Hmmmm... there's a thought or three.

    The term "Sisters" means many different things to many different things to various sub-cultures... Nuns, cousins, females doing it for themselves, Female Liberationists, Wimmin, Female Charge Nurses, or just two girls born from the same mother.

    D'ya geddit yet NT? The term "Sister" is very ambiguous and should not be used in a publication which is supposed to be following the "Equal Opportunities Act."

    Can you imagine the furore that would ensue if you had published "Give Whites control over budgets to improve patient dignity, says commission"?

    Or...

    "Give men control over budgets to improve patient dignity, says commission"

    Yup... that is how offensive it could be... and that is why you (the NT Editorial Staff) need to finally drag yourselves (screaming and shouting) into the 19th Century... at least.

    There is no excuse for bad journalism. We expect it from the Daily Mail but we shouldn't have to have to tolerate it from our own professional website.

    Shame on you NT!

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  • Mr Ornottoby. This is a nursing magazine, therefore anyone reading it will undoubtedly understand what a 'Sister' is, as well as almost every adult patient/person in this country, it is certainly not unambiguous. I am fed up of reading NT articles only to find someone has made a comment that does not relate to the quality of the article or their thoughts/feelings surrounding the articles subject matter. If you are offended then that's your problem not NT.

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  • Toby
    Common parlance! Colloqial! Especially to nursing in the NHS!

    Great to see you adding to the debate!

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  • Toby Ornottobe, Marina Bloom, Anon 10.07pm
    The title does not say 'Sisters' with a capital, rather 'sisters' with a lower case, and as such would not refer to the nursing role but to a female relative sharing one or both parents.
    Perhaps we should change it to ' Bee-atches', stop people getting their knickers ( or ball-stranglers) in a twist.
    If you really feel self important, go by the title of 'Deputy Ward Manager' and see how this opens doors for you.
    As for the article, yet another example of small minded people re-inventing the wheel. Will it mean the end of the Clinical Business Manager? Will it shoite, they'll probably be moved sideways or upwards ( never down is it?) and the straws will continue to accumulate on the camels back.

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  • Toby Ornottoby

    Marina Broom | 18-Jun-2012 5:52 pm

    Great to see you continuing your many posts to this website e.g. 1 in total....

    https://www.nursingtimes.net/marina-broom/1547023.publicprofile

    What exactly is your Registration status at the moment? Methinks thou art a plant from the NT editorial desk! Do you deny it? A stool pigeon on the Bristol Scale of 5 maybe?

    “I am fed up of reading NT articles only to find someone has made a comment that does not relate to the quality of the article or their thoughts/feelings surrounding the articles subject matter. If you are offended then that's your problem not NT. “

    Well Marina - after 39 years in the matriarchal nursing business - I am also fed up with reading sexist-slanted offal churned out by tired hacks who really need to go back to school and read up what the current definition of “sex discrimination” means.

    I reiterate my point - and I will do it mor bluntly this time... sorry if this causes offence... What if this NT title said... ....... ......... ......... ......... ......... ..........

    Ahhh... You know what? I am not even going to go there. You almost made me do the same heinous crime that you are guilty of. I am not going to stereotype - I am a nurse... I care for all the people who come under my auspices as “individuals” regardless of whatever they are.

    I got into nursing in 1974 as a Nursing Auxilliary on a General Ward. It took me a few years to realise that this was a female-dominated profession. I accepted that. There were a lot of things that we accepted as the “norm" back in 1974 that are now regarded as totally unacceptable... too many to go into now - but if you want me to be brutally specific I’ll list them in a further post... just have the balls to put your REAL name on the message next time eh?

    One of the things that Grinds My Testicular Fortitude is that “Nurses” have always - but always - been predominately gender-orientated by the media as having the XX factor.

    Dear God... really?

    In his day and age are we really going to revert to a non-existent 1950‘s English stereotype where “good gals” looked after their Mommys, families, newborns, husbands, houses and still had time to be “Angels Of Mercy” at their local hospital?

    The “angel" myth is just that - a myth. It never existed... I was there in 74.... There were some entirely pissed-off SRNs who were dumping their shit on me. I looked up to them and admired them for their sheer professionalism.... That’s why I decided to do my RMN and SRN training.

    Yeah, I have made a difference. Four HCAs are now Registered Nurses because of the encouragement and support I gave them.

    Yeah, I have made a difference... Merely by coming onto this website and provoking specific nurse-related issue discussions I am making Resisted Nurses complete their obligation to the NMC to indulge in “Reflective Practice”...

    Ahhhh.... you never thought about that before.... This is - with all the arguments and sniping - “Reflective Practice!”


    Well.... as an addendum...



    “Anonymous | 18-Jun-2012 10:07 pm

    Toby
    Common parlance! Colloqial! Especially to nursing in the NHS!

    Great to see you adding to the debate! “


    It certainly seems like I did - unlike you!





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  • Toby Ornottoby

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  • tinkerbell

    I am a Ward Sister spelt BASTARD. Everybody happy now.

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