@TheKingsFund, @HealthFdn and @NuffieldTrust Warn of Urgent Need to Tackle NHS Workforce Crisis

In the three years or more that this Blog has existed, this topic is one that I have kept returning to. Finally we seem to have reached a point where what is going on is obvious to everyone.

According to The Nuffield Trust, The King’s Fund and the Health Foundation the UK is facing massive staff shortages across the National Health Service that are so severe that services will suffer, with no chance of the shortfall in GP’s ever being fully addressed. The report predicts that without the kind of actions the new report called Closing the Gap proposes, nurse shortages will double to 70,000 and the GP shortage in England would triple to 7,000 in just 5 years (by 2023/24).

For nursing alone the report concludes that even with grants and expansion of postgraduate training, bringing 5,000 more students onto nursing courses each year and actions to stop nurses leaving the NHS, the gap cannot be entirely filled domestically and that in order to keep services functioning, 5,000 nurses a year must therefore also be ethically recruited from abroad. Essentially rubbishing the salary restrictions to recruitment proposed in the Immigration White Paper.

In fact they suggest that the government needs to fund the visa costs incurred by NHS Trust recruitment. Also, as I have said on numerous occassions before in this blog a comprehensive overhaul of social care funding is needed immediately to stop the poor pay and condition that both drives staff away and makes new recruitment near impossible.

Apparently the NHS England’s own Workforce Implementation Plan is expected next month. My guess is that is being ripped up and binned as we speak along with the aspirations of the recent NHS Long Term Plan

To download the report in full GO HERE

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How to…Reduce and Manage Delirium

WDAD2019_-prelim

I missed posting completely last week… first time in a long while. This week though I have to mention Delirium, because March 13th was World Delirium Awareness Day 2019. If you want to know more about this day CLICK HERE 

Delirium or (Sudden onset confusion) can have many different causes. If a person is confused, they may:

  • not be able to think or speak clearly or quickly
  • not know where they are (feel disorientated)
  • struggle to pay attention or remember things
  • see or hear things that aren’t there (hallucinations)

To check if it is delirium, try asking the person their name, their age and today’s date. If they seem unsure or can’t answer you, they probably need medical help immediately. It’s a very common symptom and is one of the most common medical emergencies. In hospitals, the prevalence is around 20% in adult acute general medical patients, and higher in particular groups, 75% of patients in intensive care; 50% of those who have a hip fracture. So it is worth knowing as much as you can about it and how it should be treated. This year’s Delirium Awareness Day; See #WDAD2019 was very significant because the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) published the first evidence-based guideline on Risk Reduction and management of Delirium. If you are a healthcare worker in any setting then you really need to download and read the Full Guidance and keep the Quick Reference Guide that can download from THIS PAGE handy.

So if you are one of my students then that’s two items you need to remember SIGN 157 and NICE’s NG97

 

Social Care Workers in Scotland Put Up With Unfair Conditions

 

PUBLICATION-Social-care-report-01-FINAL-VERSION-sent-to-APS_revised-on...-1-pdfMost people probably missed this because as always this issue didn’t seem to be widely discussed. However, if you want to have a dedicated, committed and well-trained workforce you shouldn’t be undervaluing and treating the current workforce badly. Although this report is about the situation in Scotland it’s just as relevant to the whole of the UK and quite probably much of Europe and the Rest of the World

On 26th February 2019 the Fair Work Convention in Scotland published its report Fair Work in Scotland’s Social Care Sector 2019.

The report calls for urgent interventions by policy makers, commissioners and leaders in the social care sector to improve the quality of work and employment for the 200,000 strong workforce in Scotland. The social care workforce represents 7.7% of the total workforce – about 82% of them women. They include home care workers, residential carers, social workers, nurses and childcare staff.

The report highlights that many people are on precarious contracts in a sector in which they have little power or influence. Women told the Convention team that they enjoy being involved in people’s lives and like that they make a positive difference. However, society needs to value social care as a profession.

There is considerable use of zero-hours contracts, underemployment and seasonal contracts. The report says that staff also frequently worked beyond contracted hours and did unpaid overtime.

The convention, which advises the Scottish Government, called for a watchdog to monitor working conditions and draft a “fair work” contract. It also needs to take urgent action to bring about a radical overhaul of social care and to use fair work principles to drive high-quality services for some of our most vulnerable people.

This report goes on to makes recommendations about how to realise fair work for social care workers by setting out what policy makers, commissioners and leaders in Scotland’s social care sector can and should do.

The 18-month study was led by the chief executive of Alzheimer Scotland Henry Simmons and Lilian Macer from Unison.

To download and read the report go to https://www.fairworkconvention.scot/our-report-on-fair-work-in-social-care/

You might also want to look at the following report from the Scottish Social Services Council

The Scottish Social Service Sector: Report on 2017 Workforce Data, An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland

Let’s hope that this report and the work of the convention will start to change the situation in Scotland at least.