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NHS chief praises nurses and urges caution over cuts

  • 5 Comments

Nursing older patients with dementia on acute medical wards is “really difficult”, the chief executive of the NHS has acknowledged, saying that services need to change radically to cope.

Sir David Nicholson told an NHS managers’ conference this week that changing the way services were delivered was the only way the health service would make the savings needed to cope with rising demand from an aging population without significant increases in funding.

The scandal of care at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust had shown the danger to patients of attempting to save too much money through “conventional efficiencies” such as staff cuts, he said in a speech at the NHS Confederation annual conference in Manchester.

What is needed, he said, was “radical” change, such as moving more care into the community.

Sir David said: “A drive for straightforward efficiencies in the system can put us in great danger.

“No matter how compassionate, how brilliant our nursing staff are – and the vast majority really are – it is really difficult to give frail elderly people with dementia the care they need on an acute medical ward. The answer is about transforming services.”

Sir David called on politicians to be “straightforward” with the public about the need for change and to support unpopular decisions such as closing hospital beds.

Last week Sir David told a committee of MPs that he was concerned NHS managers were trying to save money by making short-term staffing cuts, in particular specialist nurse posts, which would have long-term consequence for care.

  • 5 Comments

Readers' comments (5)

  • It is not only the frail elderly patients who are suffering on acute medical wards. All patients on all wards are suffering because of bed closures, patients having long-term complex medical needs, social needs and an ever-increasing aging population.

    We have said many times that we need to re-open community hospitals, long-stay hospitals, residental and nursing home beds, EMI beds and keep acute hospitals open for acute care.

    The public should be made aware of how many patients are in hospital who are no longer receiving medical care, who should be discharged but have nowhere to be discharged to.

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  • Nursing dementia patients has always been difficult..but these day near impossible because of under staffing and the vast documentation involved. I can recall my training in 1980, and the then "psychogeriatric" wards. These patients were very well cared for because trained nurses worked with the HCAs. We only entered the office to answer a phone, and collect the patients notes to do the daily report. The nursing process was beginning to emerge, therefore care planning was non existent. Care plans are a must but these do not take up our time..once written they only need regular review and evaluation. I have studied models at in-depth and completed a thesis a comparative analysis of Dorothy Oram and Imogen King, and this was for my RMN in 1994. To be honest I cannot see the use of models..Nurses are trained practitioners, and can develop within their speciality. We are so over burdened with paper work, documenting, re checking that prescription sheets have been signed, this form has been filled, so on and on...getting to be ridiculous. Were are we at ?...We now spend 90% of our shift time in the office dealing with client affairs, contacting social workers, and many other agents, all for demanding consultants who will rip you apart at a ward round !We are terrified of that place..NMC....we spend more time on all the documentation. I really feel that the government should intervene and investigate the NMC. Long stay hospitals..I agree, and they served their purpose very well indeed. I trained at a psychiatric hospital in Surry which was demolished in 1986 to make way for a prison. The care there was exemplary. The elderly were very well looked after. There were admission wards..and I never saw the revolving door syndrome like we see on most admission and assessment acute wards these days. If a member of staff was assaulted by a patient, then that patient was secluded..and this was to protect staff, and other patients. Seclusion did not mean neglect, and observation was carried out.
    ALL BOILS DOWN TO ENDLESS PAPERWORK AND FEAR OF BEING STRUCK OFF !!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Nursing dementia patients has always been difficult..but these day near impossible because of under staffing and the vast documentation involved. I can recall my training in 1980, and the then "psychogeriatric" wards. These patients were very well cared for because trained nurses worked with the HCAs. We only entered the office to answer a phone, and collect the patients notes to do the daily report. The nursing process was beginning to emerge, therefore care planning was non existent. Care plans are a must but these do not take up our time..once written they only need regular review and evaluation. I have studied models at in-depth and completed a thesis a comparative analysis of Dorothy Oram and Imogen King, and this was for my RMN in 1994. To be honest I cannot see the use of models..Nurses are trained practitioners, and can develop within their speciality. We are so over burdened with paper work, documenting, re checking that prescription sheets have been signed, this form has been filled, so on and on...getting to be ridiculous. Were are we at ?...We now spend 90% of our shift time in the office dealing with client affairs, contacting social workers, and many other agents, all for demanding consultants who will rip you apart at a ward round !We are terrified of that place..NMC....we spend more time on all the documentation. I really feel that the government should intervene and investigate the NMC. Long stay hospitals..I agree, and they served their purpose very well indeed. I trained at a psychiatric hospital in Surry which was demolished in 1986 to make way for a prison. The care there was exemplary. The elderly were very well looked after. There were admission wards..and I never saw the revolving door syndrome like we see on most admission and assessment acute wards these days. If a member of staff was assaulted by a patient, then that patient was secluded..and this was to protect staff, and other patients. Seclusion did not mean neglect, and observation was carried out.
    ALL BOILS DOWN TO ENDLESS PAPERWORK AND FEAR OF BEING STRUCK OFF !!!

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  • Compare the NHS Chief Exec with our new Chief Nursing Officer and their rhetoric. The non-nurse recognises that we have cut too many nursing staff, especially specialist nurses, the CNO thinks we have more than enough but not utilising them correctly. One has a gong already. Can you guess? OBN's all round ( Ordure of the Brown Nose) and tea with Betty at the palace for the winner of this weeks quiz. Send your answers to:
    'What does one have to do to get a 'K' around here?'
    c/o CNO
    Judas Lane,
    Sycophant Hill,
    London
    4Q RS OLE

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  • tinkerbell

    possibly all lining themselves up nicely for when the NHS is over and becoming directors in private enterprises.

    Traitors, selling off OUR NHS and making profit out of the sick and vulnerable whilst grinding us all into the ground so that we can no longer provide a service. How convenient.

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