Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Climate change and the NHS: can nurses point the way to a greener future?



Climate change and the NHS: can nurses point the way to a greener future?

RCN calls for ideas on how to reduce healthcare’s carbon footprint
A nurse-led strategy to help tackle climate change is being launched by the RCN.
The college says nurses can be a driving force in reducing waste, recycling more and minimising the carbon footprint of health and social care.
The NHS in England is responsible for more than a third of all public sector carbon emissions, according to NHS Digital.
RCN strategy on climate change
Over the next six months, the RCN will be speaking to its members to develop a climate change strategy. This will include a focus on sharing tips on how nurses can develop sustainable initiatives in their workplaces, and lobbying for more sustainable procurement of equipment.
The strategy is a response to the instruction from the RCN's congress earlier this year that the college should lobby healthcare providers to develop environmentally sustainable policies and raise awareness of climate change.

RCN professional lead for sustainability Rose Gallagher said: 'As nurses we are uniquely placed to play a leading role in protecting the health of our patients from the consequences of climate change. That means doing our bit to reduce the impact the health and care system has on the environment and share best practice while doing so.
'Even small changes are having a big impact.'

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

New guidance for nurses prescribing via phone or online consultations



New guidance for nurses prescribing via phone or online consultations


NMC and other regulators set principles to ensure patient safety when accessing care remotely

Nurses who provide online or telephone prescriptions now have a set of guiding principles to follow.

The principles, jointly agreed by 13 healthcare regulators and professional bodies, including the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), are to ensure the safety of patients when they access services remotely.



What the prescribing principles cover

The new principles state that nurses who prescribe medication online or over the phone should:

  • Raise concerns if patient identification and verification checks are not adequate.
  • Understand how to identify vulnerable patients and take appropriate steps to protect them.
  • State their name, job role and professional registration details, and explain to the patient how the remote consultation will work.  
  • Explain that they can only prescribe if it is safe to do so. If not, they will refer or signpost to the appropriate services.
  • Obtain informed consent and follow mental capacity law and codes of practice.
  • Undertake a clinical assessment and access medical records.
  • Give patients accessible information about all the options available to them.
  • Ensure all information is shared with relevant colleagues and health and social care providers to support ongoing monitoring and treatment.
  • Keep notes explaining and justifying the decisions made.
  • Stay up to date with training, support and guidance on providing healthcare remotely.

The document also makes clear that healthcare professionals should continue to follow guidelines from regulatory bodies and take clinical guidance into account in their decision-making.

It says it is up to the employer and healthcare professional to outline when remote prescribing is not an option.

Maintaining the quality of care

Roughly 10% of nurses and midwives on the NMC register hold prescribing qualifications, according to the regulator.

NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe said that the quality of care must remain the same in remote consultations as in a face-to-face care.

‘The Code already sets out how [nurses] can demonstrate they are appropriately supporting and protecting people seeking their care,’ Sutcliffe said.

‘I hope this guidance helps to clarify further what safe and effective consultations and prescribing practice looks and feels like.’

To learn more please visit Worldnursingcongress Brochure Download

Monday, 11 November 2019

Queen’s Nursing Institute named the world’s oldest nursing charity



QNI ‘delighted’ to receive certification after 132 years of service

The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) has been named the world’s oldest nursing charity by Guinness World Records.

After 132 years of supporting nurses in the community, the charity’s record was verified on 5 July, following a nine-month application process.

The QNI received its certificate in September, and today said it was ‘delighted’ to make the news public.  

Marking an industrious history

QNI chief executive Crystal Oldman said: ‘William Rathbone and Florence Nightingale determined that nurses who worked in homes and communities required specialist education and training to do their work, to work autonomously, and to manage the risk for both themselves as Queen’s nurses and the communities that they served.’

In 1887, the QNI was established after Queen Victoria granted the charity £70,000 from the Women’s Jubilee Fund. The organisation’s objectives were to provide the ‘training, support, maintenance and supply’ of nurses for the sick poor, as well as establishing training homes and supervising centres.

Dr Oldman said these objectives are still adhered to today, ‘supporting the same mission for best care in the community’. 

Providing innovative care and influencing policymakers

The charity supports community nurses through a national network of Queen’s nurses.

It funds nurses’ own ideas to improve patient care, campaigns for investment in community nursing services, publishes research into nursing practice, links up working and retired nurses for regular telephone contact, and works to influence government, policymakers and employers.

To learn more download World Nursing Congress 2020 Brochure

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Helping nurses to ‘defuse’ after difficult situations



Helping nurses to ‘defuse’ after difficult situations

Essential information

Making time for nursing teams to reflect on challenging or difficult situations and ‘defuse’ can support their psychological well-being and enhance their self-care and management, according to the RCN.

It can help to sustain a workforce, improve communication and reinforce teamwork. It allows teams to share successes and positive experiences.

What’s new

Advice on responding after challenging situations and when staff should meet to reflect on them is the subject of new guidance from the RCN.

The leaflet, Time and Space: Enabling Defusing Activities, sets out the benefits of giving nursing staff the chance to react to and reflect on the incident or event and gives advice on how this review should be structured.

It sets out advice on regular catch-ups before, during and after shifts, and a more detailed discussion after particularly busy or difficult shifts.

The leaflet is part of the RCN’s new package of mindfulness tools. These tools are intended to help nurses and other staff in all clinical settings focus on the present, protect themselves, reduce stress and improve patient care.

When it comes to defusing difficult situations, the nurse in charge should assume responsibility and explain the importance of honest and open communication and reflection, encouraging the team to connect regularly.

They should plan an agreed time that the whole team can get together mid-shift and briefly check that original task allocations are working and manageable, re-evaluate this if necessary and raise any concerns. The nurse in charge should bring the team together again at the end of the shift.

Following more challenging shifts, the RCN says that the nurse in charge should acknowledge it has been difficult, thank everyone for their efforts and allow strong views to be expressed.

It is an opportunity to reassure staff that what they are feeling is normal, and to give them a sense of proportion, perspective and control over what has happened. If physical restraint has been used, it is a chance to check the physical well-being of staff.

Implications for nurses

Advice for defusing sessions after difficult situations:
  • Keep it fairly brief.
  • Ask how everyone has been feeling during the shift and how they are feeling now.
  • If any strong feelings or opinions are expressed, just let this happen. Do not feel that you have to rationalise these opinions or come up with an answer. The simple message should be, ‘it’s okay to have feelings and it’s okay to express them’.
  • Ask staff if they have any important points or observations they want to make about anything that has happened during the shift or any problems, for instance, racial abuse, threats, issues with procedures or equipment. Do not try and solve these issues at this point. Where necessary, encourage staff to raise these issues at the weekly staff meeting/clinical supervision.
  • Try to give staff a sense of proportion, perspective and control over what has been happening during the shift.
  • Emphasise areas of good practice and thank staff.
To learn more please visit World Nursing Congress 2020

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Abortion services: nursing students first to complete clinical placement at charity



Abortion services: nursing students first to complete clinical placement at charity

The two students spent six weeks at charity Marie Stopes’ centre in London

Two nursing students in London have become the first to complete clinical placements at a Marie Stopes UK abortion service.

Their deployment coincided with the recent publication of guidance by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which recommended that students should gain experience in abortion services.

Students participate in many aspects of abortion 

The adult nursing students from King’s College London (KCL) attended charity Marie Stopes UK’s West London Centre for a six-week clinical placement in September.

They gained experience in pre-assessments and consent for treatment, early medical abortion, surgical termination of pregnancy, and recovery and discharge, as well as safeguarding processes.

‘There will always be women who need this sort of care’

Final-year adult nursing student Kirstin Panganiba said she had known nothing about the abortion process before the placement, but now wanted to tackle the stigma surrounding it.

‘When I told my friends and family about my placement there was a shock factor,’ she said.

‘But I would tell them that it is healthcare, and whether people are against it or not, it doesn’t bother me.

‘There will always be women out there who need this sort of care and will do whatever they need to access it, whether it’s readily available or not.’

KCL associate dean of practice learning Julie Bliss said it was important for students to experience placements that reflected the full range of healthcare.

Another two nursing students from KCL will begin placements at the centre in January.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Mandatory training in learning disabilities and autism for all NHS nurses

Mandatory training in learning disabilities and autism for all NHS nurses


All nurses working in the NHS and social care in England will receive mandatory training in caring for people with learning disabilities and autism from next year.

The training programme, backed by £1.4 million of government funding, will be named in memory of Bristol teenager Oliver McGowan, who had autism and died after being given an antipsychotic drug that caused him to suffer a rare side effect. His parents have campaigned for better staff training since his death in 2016.


His mother, Paula McGowan, said: ‘I believe my son Oliver died an avoidable death, and if the medics looking after him had had a better understanding of his needs, it may never have happened.
‘We have never had mandatory training like this before and I believe this is a very important first step in addressing the inequalities of healthcare and premature deaths in people who have autism and learning disabilities.’

A trial of the new training package for all health and social care staff will begin in 2020 and run until March 2021.

Data on inpatients who have learning disabilities or autism will also be published by the government as part of its commitment to ‘greater transparency’, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

But the chief executive of disability charity Sense, Richard Kramer, said: ‘For many young people with learning disabilities and autism, this is too little, too late.’

Case reviews for mental health hospital inpatients

The mandatory training announcement follows the government’s commitment to review the care of every mental healthcare inpatient with a learning disability or autism over the next 12 months.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said the case reviews for all 2,250 inpatients will mean every individual is given a hospital discharge date or a plan to move them closer towards one.

The decision comes after a report by parliament’s joint committee on human rights, which said mental health legislation must be overhauled to stop the ‘horrific’ and inappropriate detention of young people with autism or learning disabilities.

The report said the human rights of many young people were being breached in mental health hospitals and called for the criteria for detention under the Mental Health Act to be narrowed.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Applications invited for new children's nursing research awards

Applications invited for new children's nursing research awards

Two awards of £750 are on offer for a children's nurse and a nursing student to present their research at a conference

Two awards of £750 are being offered for a registered children’s nurse and an undergraduate or postgraduate nursing student to present their research at a UK conference.

Nursing Children and Young People, supported by the RCN's Research in Child Health community, is seeking applications for its awards in 2019-20.

Applicants should submit a 350-word abstract describing either a literature review or a research study they have been involved in from clinical practice.

Abstracts will be considered that focus on research design, research methods or studies where results are not yet available.

Brilliant opportunity to disseminate research widely

An award of £750 each will be made to a registered children’s nurse and a nursing student – undergraduate or postgraduate, including those on master’s degree and PhD programmes.

Applicants can seek support from their research or dissertation supervisor in writing the abstract. Winners will be expected to write an article for the journal.

Research in Child Health community chair Kate Oulton said: 'It is important that children's nurses are able to disseminate their research as widely as possible and conferences are an integral part of being able to do this. However, funding is difficult to find, so this is a brilliant opportunity.'

How to apply: Email Gia Aaron, Conference manager, World Nursing Congress 2020, for an application form or phone +3228081170 . The deadline for abstract submission is 15 November 2019.