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Will the proposal to introduce registered older people's nurses improve care?

  • Comments (11)

The Francis report into care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust recommended the introduction of a registered older persons nurse. Mr Francis posed a number of questions:

“Although older people hold the same right of access to NHS services as any younger adults, why are older people accused of ‘blocking’ the beds?”

“If older people increase demand upon services, why are they called a ‘burden’?”

“When admitted to a general adult ward, where older adults now outnumber younger adults, why is specialist gerontological nursing not widely available to prevent readmission?”

Mr Francis commented that “there is now a real opportunity to develop nurses who can change the care of older people and create a different value system”.

Francis report: the key ‘themes’ for nursing

 

What do you think?

  • Comments (11)

Readers' comments (11)

  • Anonymous

    I've never accused, or heard anyone else accuse, an older patient of blocking a bed, younger patients also stay in hospital waiting for social services, that is something people seem to forget.

    I've never heard anyone refer to any patient, whatever their age, of being a 'burden'.

    Specialist gerontological nursing - we used to get paid extra for looking after elderly patients and anyone over the age of 65 was taken over by the geriatrician. Many patients were nursed in 'geriatric hospitals', these don't exist anymore.

    Older patients are admitted to all wards with all kinds of illnesses. ALL nurses on ALL wards now care for elderly patients which means we should all be specialists, we would welcome any training and support available please.

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  • Anonymous

    Yes as the previous writer states we don't have seperate older people's hospitals so everyone needs to be trained in older person care. I trained in DCM (Dementia Care Mapping) and I have to say it did make me more aware of the needs of older people, and the areas that had a DCM rep did improve their care. So we should be open to anything that brings better care.

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  • Anonymous

    i never realised the term "bed blocker" was age related, i thought it simply referred to anyone medically fit for discharge who remained in a hospital bed for non-medical reasons. i also assumed it was a term critical (perhaps unfairly) of social services rather than the patient.

    what is the currently non-pejorative term for someone fit for discharge who remains in hospital for social reasons? and we surely do need a succinct identifier for also sorts of reasons eg. uncovering
    systemic organisational obstacles to discharge, adapting staff levels and skill mix to the needs of the ward, etc.

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  • Anonymous

    I agree with the above statement as I was in hospital myself recently and was in for at least 3/4 days unnecessarily at tax payers expense due to poor communication that had me down for a scan as an outpatient rather than an inpatient. It took me telling them I had instructed my children to sue the pants off them all if I dropped dead waiting for the scan to get them to check and me have it the next morning.

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  • Anonymous

    What's the point of nurses specifically for older people. Who isnotnthatbhas hoards of young patients anyway? The answer is nobody. The real issue is that lack of science in nursing and the flimsy notion that being of caring attitude makes up for the lack of knowledge. These nurses won't be better trained or mite knowledgeable because this isn't something universities teach. Merely these unfortunate nurses will be hemmed in to an unpopular area that is that way simply because British society as a whole doesn't value older people.

    There shouldn't be branches at all in fact. Training should be four years and teach universal concepts.
    This is more of the same nonsense from the jam making brigade of our elite who need to step aside and let somebody with a modern approach take over.

    Get rid of the branches don't add more pointless stems. Nobody will take this training anyway. Once the potentials find out what is in store for them, the drop out rate for nursing in the past will seem like a dreamy series of salad days.

    Older adults don't need a particular kind of Nurse. They require a commitment of staffing and resources and the understanding that they cannot recover to design by committee planning or the largely fantasy rates at which managers plan things.

    This is, once again, adopting the strategy of working around the elephant in the room rather than dealing with it.

    Thanks again!

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  • Anonymous

    Anon 14/03/2013 12:37pm
    Well said........

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  • Anonymous

    Perhaps we should go back to having student nurses working on an elderly ward for 3 months and guaranteeing them a job at the end of their training - in a general medical or general surgical ward. many newly qualified nurses I work with seem to want to work in 'acute' areas and go on as many 'acute' courses as possible but they lack the basic essential nursing and teaching skills.

    If nursing care is to improve then nurses need to learn how to learn the basic things first.

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  • We are one of very countries who make people choose there branch of nursing before we even start training! We also have very little exposure to any other branch other than our chosen branch we leaves us inadequtley prepared when entering our nursing career, nurses on general wards look after mental health and learning disabilties patients without having had exposure let alone training in caring for these programmes, so i agree withhe above poster who said get rid of branches of nursing altogether especially in pre-reg training! Australia and the US have systems whereby on qualifying you enter a graduate programme aimed at steering you through your first year of nursing in whichever field you choose after having had exposure to different areas of nursing!

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  • Anonymous

    Does that mean that all us community based nurses can call ourselves specialists? We nurse elderly patients every day. All nurses learn as we go, even "specialists" don't know everything when they start working in their chosen specialism. A good nurse is one who is willing to learn and keep on learning from his/her patients.

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  • Anonymous

    Agree with all of the posts - in addition bring back the ENB this produced an education package which was linked to practice and professionally recognised decisions to specialise.

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