Nurses made to ‘choose between paperwork and patient care’ because of staff shortages, RCN warns

Nursing staff are being forced to choose between finishing paperwork and treating patients, as the chronic staff shortages in the NHS continue to hamper the care staff can give, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has warned. In a major report on nurse morale the RCN says the profession is “on the brink”, with the 43,000 vacant full-time nursing posts across the UK hampering their ability to do the job to the best of their ability. The shortage is a major source of public concern as well, with a YouGov poll of the public revealing 74% of people think there are not enough nurses to run the health service safely – and addressing this was their top priority for the NHS. For its report the RCN surveyed 30,000 nursing staff, many of who explained how the current shortages were affecting them. Some of the main concerns identified were that a lack of time means fundamentals of personal and patient care are not carried out, with nurses unable to find time to wash patients or get them back in to bed. The burden of paperwork and auditing, a major part of this government’s drive to make the NHS the safest and most transparent health service in the world through data monitoring, is another burden. Nurses also raised concerns about the lack of time to discuss patients’ care needs and next steps with love ones and relatives.

Care home residents enjoy Oscars-themed party

An Oscar-themed party was a huge hit with residents at a Surrey care home. A red carpet and clicking photographer set the stage for the evening of champagne, canapes, and its own awards ceremony. The care home, Sunrise of Banstead, also organised a sit-down evening meal which was followed by the ceremony. Prizes up for grabs, included the ‘Most Glamorous Resident’, the ‘Most Fascinating Resident’ and the ‘Unsung Hero’ award. The celebrations were rounded off by a mix of swing and rock music, performed by Epsom singer Chaise Aitch. Tamara Juckes, Sunrise activities and volunteer coordinator, said: “The awards evening was a wonderful opportunity to bring together residents, team members, friends and family to celebrate Sunrise of Banstead and all those who make it such a friendly, engaging and fun place to live and work.”

NHS hospitals told to take drastic measures amid winter crisis

The NHS is reeling under what doctors’ leaders and hospital chiefs say is the most intense strain it has faced in decades as a result of flu, bad weather and more patients suffering breathing problems. Hospitals’ inability to keep up with the demand for care prompted NHS England to tell them to take unprecedented measures to try and stabilise the service. They included cancelling outpatient appointments and day case surgery, extending an existing ban on non-urgent surgery until the end of the month and deploying consultants in A&E units to assess if patients really are a medical emergency. Amid growing evidence of chaos as the NHS’s winter crisis bites, hospitals are being forced to create makeshift wards for patients, growing numbers are declaring a black alert – an official admission that they cannot cope – and patients are waiting as long as 12 hours for A&E care. Officials estimated that extending the ban on non-essential operations could lead to 55,000 procedures being deferred.

‘You never stop being a mum’

A 98-year-old mother has moved in to a care home – to look after her 80-year-old son. Tom Keating became a resident at Moss View care home in Huyton, Liverpool, in 2016 because he needed additional care and support. Just over a year later his mother Ada decided to move into the same home to help look after her eldest child. The mother and son, originally from Wavertree, are inseparable and love spending time together playing games or watching Emmerdale. They share a special relationship as Tom never married and has always lived with Ada. Ada said: ‘I say goodnight to Tom in his room every night and I’ll go and say good morning to him. Care home manager Philip Daniels said: ‘It’s very touching to see the close relationship both Tom and Ada share and we are so pleased we were able to accommodate both of their needs.

Former nurse, 93, re-visits the hospital where she trained in the 1940s

A 93-YEAR-OLD former nurse has fulfilled her wish to re-visit the famous Glasgow hospital once more where she trained as a 20 year-old. Agnes Kay spent four years at the Royal Infirmary at the end of the Second World War, from 1945-1949, when the hospital was already renowned world-wide for medical innovations including the development of antiseptic surgery by Joseph Lister. Agnes had just three months training at the hospital before she was despatched to the “Florence Nightingale style” wards after being tested on her bandaging prowess. She worked seven days a week, with only a half day off at the weekend in Ward 3 which dealt with heart patients. After four years at the Royal, Agnes, who now lives in Newcastle, went to London where she trained in midwifery. She later moved to Newcastle and worked as a health visitor before retiring at the age of 60.

Innovative midwifery and nursing programme development at University of Leicester

The University of Leicester is pushing the boundaries of Midwifery and Nursing training which is being led by Professors Jayne Marshall and Dave Clarke, who bring to the University a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise from both education and practice. Jayne’s appointment at the University of Leicester is to develop and implement an innovative 4 year pre-registration Master in Science Midwifery with Leadership programme for aspiring leaders of the midwifery profession: be it in clinical practice, education or research.  For nursing, Dave is developing a 4-year dual registration BSc (Hons) Nursing with leadership: adult with mental health and children’s nursing with mental health. The introduction of midwifery and nursing programmes at the University of Leicester will support the College of Medicine’s aspiration to form a School of Allied Health Professions and further enhance inter-professional learning and working.

New benchmark in nursing care

A residential care home with a butler and chauffeur service has opened in Battersea. Albert Suites, described as a “new benchmark in nursing care”, is a care home that delivers “authentic choice” to the elderly and those requiring care for illnesses or rehabilitation. Residents, who have butlers and chauffeurs available to them, are under no strict time constraints- they eat when and what they want. Director of care Linda Ryan said: “Why should we be on a rigid time regime. Meal times and waking times are tailored to a resident’s preference, and we advocate self-medication where feasible to foster a sense of independence.” On top of the butler service, which serves barista coffee, there is a concierge, swimming pool, gym, hairdresser and a beauty salon.

Care home staff praised for quality of care

Staff at a Grimsby care home for people with dementia has been praised for treating residents with kindness, respect, empathy and dignity. The high acclaim for the carers at Grimsby Manor Care Home has come from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors, who have rated the service as ‘good’ for the second time in as many years. CQC, the regulators of health and social care in England, carried out an unannounced two-day inspection at the care home, in Second Avenue, Grimsby, and rated the service on how safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led it is. Inspectors rated it as ‘good’ in all areas apart from how well-led the service is, which is ‘requiring improvement’.

Care home charity cycling challenge raises funds for Alzheimer’s Society

OVER 300 pedal-powered miles have been clocked up by volunteers at a Sheffield care home to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society. The charity cycling challenge was held at The Laurels and The Limes Care Home. Residents, staff, family members, former Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield and volunteers from the Sheffield Wednesday National Citizenship Service (NCS) all took part. They covered a total of 332 miles and raised £150 for the Alzheimer’s Society. Kevin Hodgson, Home Manager of The Limes, said: “Our thanks go to everyone who took part in the charity cycling challenge for the Alzheimer’s Society. It was great to see so much support for a charity that means a great deal to us, as we provide specialist dementia care for many residents.” The fundraiser is part of a wider programme of activities taking place across the Hill Care Group, which owns and operates The Laurels and The Limes. In July, Hill Care Managing Director Wendy Waddicor is aiming to cycle over 300 miles, from London to Paris, in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society. The group has raised nearly £4,000 of Wendy’s £5,000 target so far, with activities taking place at homes across the North of England.

Care Home bake off for Help for Heroes

Staff, residents and friends of Holcroft Grange care home, in Cheshire, showed off their baking prowess and raised over £100 by holding a bake sale in support of Help For Heroes, which provides support to those living with injuries and illnesses sustained while serving in the British armed forces. The bake sale was held at the Croftwood Care-run home in Culcheth as part of the charity’s Bake for Heroes campaign. Baked goods were made by staff, residents and friends of the home and included delicious delights such as scones, muffins and cup cakes. Proceeds from the event were split between Help for Heroes and the Holcroft Grange activities fund, which is used to pay for trips and days out for residents at the home. Holcroft Grange’s support of Help for Heroes was particularly poignant to 85-year-old George Spencer, a resident at the home and former soldier in the Scottish Rifle Regiment, also known as the ‘Cameronians’.

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