A recent census carried out by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) found that North Wales has the second worst ratio of patients per senior doctor in the UK. The findings showed that there were only 126 senior doctors working in the region last year. The college warned that there simply aren’t enough doctors to treat the number of people in need.
The NMC has apologised and admitted that the treatment of a family, further to the death of their son, was unacceptable. Andrea Sutcliffe, the regulator’s current Chief Executive, said “Our actions made an awful situation much worse.” She added that significant changes had since been made, including better record keeping and a new patient support service. The family involved responded with “This is exactly the behaviour what we don’t want to see in health care”. However, they hope the new leadership of the NMC would act better in the future. Joshua Titcombe was one of 11 babies to die at Barrow’s Furness General Hospital amid a number of failures and a campaign by his father, James, led to reviews into maternity safety.
Read NMC response | Read the BBC media article
The Health Quality Improvement Partnership have joined forces with BSI, Royal College of Anaesthetists, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Physicians, and the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to publish a joint statement of intent calling for the use of clinical service accreditation to improve health services. The statement of intent commits to working together to improve the quality and effectiveness of healthcare by providing clinical services with an infrastructure and a set of requirements for a structured approach to quality improvement against which they can be assessed.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) has been accused of spending more money on a management consultant than it would save by cutting paid breaks for nursing staff. The health board confirmed it was paying £1,990 a day for an “interim recovery director”. It described the sum as “market rate for this level of expertise”. It comes as nursing staff were told paid 30 minute shift breaks could be cut in a bid to save £25,000 a month. Plaid Cymru’s north Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd said it raised questions for board bosses.
NHS chief Simon Stevens has announced that a new taskforce will be set up to improve current specialist children and young people’s inpatient mental health, autism and learning disability services in England. The NHS Long Term Plan sets out an ambitious programme to transform mental health services, autism and learning disability; with a particular focus on boosting community services and reducing the over reliance on inpatient care, with these more intensive services significantly improved and more effectively joined up with schools and councils.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council has launched ‘Careline’ for registrants going through the FTP process. The new service will operate 365 days a year, offering emotional support to nurses, midwives and nursing associates. Registrants can access structured counselling sessions, delivered either face to face in a counsellor’s consulting room, via phone or Skype, or online using email or a secure chat room. NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe said the service marks another step forward in ‘humanising’ how the organisation operates.
The Royal College of Nursing has said that too many nurses in England are reaching ‘burnout or breaking point’. The piece highlights that the NMC Code places a focus patients but stresses that self-care is essential in the health care environment. The RCN article comes in light of the latest annual report from the CQC, which states that staffing pressures are contributing to a ‘perfect storm’ for patients, particularly those using mental health and learning disability services.
Read the RCN bulletin
The Nursing Times has reported that the Queen’s speech set out a raft of new policies centred on the government’s legislative plans for Brexit. It also included policy pledges on the health service, patient safety, social care and mental health. As a result, the Cabinet Office confirmed that legislation will be taken forward to establish the Health Service Safety Investigations Body.
Read the article
The Care Quality Commission has released its annual assessment of health and social care in England. The report ‘State of Care’ has had a lot of media coverage which mainly focused on struggling A&Es. The CQC reports shows that “more than half of A&Es are ‘not good enough’ and that they are “failing because they treat patients who should be seen elsewhere”.
Read the report
The Nursing Times has reported on how Unite Wales and Plaid Cymru have handed two petitions opposing controversial plans to change nursing rotas in to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. It is trying to standardise shift patterns across all its services, but changes could affect more than 4,000 nurses and include a new unpaid break. It also means that some nurses would have to work back the time taken in breaks in order to meet their contracted hours – therefore, in principle, the plans could see some nurses working an additional shift each month without any extra pay.
Midwives in Northern Ireland who object to providing abortion care have been advised to inform their managers as soon as possible by the Royal College of Midwives. Midwives and other healthcare professionals will not be criminalised for seeking an abortion or for supporting, advising or signposting women to abortion services. The RCM will continue to work to provide practical support to their members, particularly in relation to how this sits with the professional code of practice.
A coroner has blasted health chiefs in Wales for writing a statement on behalf of a nurse at an inquest into the death of a pensioner. North Wales assistant coroner Joanne Lees has demanded answers from the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health board after being handed statements purportedly written by nursing staff who cared for a patient who died at Ysbuty Gwynedd, Bangor days after suffering a fall. Another statement was unsigned and could not be admitted into evidence.