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Campaign launched to fill the 110,000 vacancies in adult social care

The Government is calling on staff to spread the word that being a career in adult social care can be rewarding, varied and worthwhile.

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An additional 650,000 workers will be needed by 2035 to keep up with the rising numbers of people aged 65 and over.

A new national recruitment campaign to help fill the 110,000 vacancies in the adult social care sector has launched by the Department of Health and Social Care.

The ‘Every Day Is Different’ campaign has been designed to how rewarding working in social care can be and highlights the opportunities for progression and professional development.

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Over 1.45 million people work in the sector at the moment. It is predicted an additional 650,000 workers will be needed by 2035 to keep up with the rising numbers of people aged 65 and over.

Adult social care providers will be encouraged to engage with the campaign by providing case studies, advertising their vacancies on DWP Find a Job and promoting social media content using the hashtag #shareifyoucare.

The ‘Cinderella service’.

The Government is calling on staff to spread the word that being a career in adult social care can be rewarding, varied and worthwhile.

Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Care, said: “Adult social care is too often seen as the ‘Cinderella service’ to our NHS. I’m determined to change this perception, starting with our hardworking social care workforce.

“There is huge demand for more care professionals who work incredibly hard to look after the most vulnerable people in our society. We must spread the word that careers in adult social care can be rewarding, varied and worthwhile. Care is a vocation where you can transform people’s lives and every day is different to the next.

“Our national recruitment campaign will support care providers to recruit thousands more talented people. If you think a career in care could be for you, I urge you to look up the opportunities in your local area and become part of a vital and growing profession.”

‘A cut-price service lets down older people’.

The Royal College of Nursing has warned until the issue of poor pay and low morale is addressed social care will continue to have a high turnover of staff.

Dame Donna Kinnair, Acting Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “Those working in social care already will tell you that making it more of an attractive place to work requires hard cash investment as well as good PR.

“Registered nurses and care workers tell us they entered the sector with high hopes but in reality poorer pay than the NHS, low morale and precarious contracts led to them looking elsewhere. Until these fundamentals are addressed, social care will continue to have a high turnover of nursing staff.

“A cut-price service lets down older people and those who work hard to care for them. We will never get the kind of care we all want for our relatives until social care, rather than budget cuts, top the list of Government priorities.

“The Government must deliver long-term investment in the full health and social care system and end the pernicious ‘race to the bottom’ culture that sees unviable contracts handed back by providers, leaves staff feeling undervalued and vulnerable people given inadequate care.”

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Hourly rounding ‘may not be the best way for nurses to deliver care’, finds study

Hourly rounding places an emphasis on ‘tick box’ care.

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Hourly rounding made a minor contribution, if at all, to the way nurses engage with patients.

A new report by researchers at King’s College London has found that the widespread practice of hourly or intentional rounding, may not be the best way for nurses to deliver care to patients.

The report also found that rounding makes a minor contribution, if at all, to the way nurses engage with patients.

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Hourly or intentional rounding involves standardised regular checks with individual patients at set intervals and was introduced in hospitals in England in 2013, with 97% of NHS acute Trusts in England implementing it in some way.

The majority of NHS trusts adopted the ‘4Ps’ (Position, Pain, Personal needs, Placement of items) model of rounding.

The research was commissioned and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and was led by Professor Ruth Harris in the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care.

Hourly rounding places an emphasis on ‘tick box’ care.

The NIHR report – Intentional rounding in hospital wards to improve regular interaction and engagement between nurses and patients: a realist evaluation – is the first study of its kind in the world.

The study found that rounding placed an emphasis on transactional ‘tick box’ care delivery, rather than individualised care. However, patients were found to value their interactions with nursing staff, which the study argues could be delivered during other care activities and rather than through intentional rounding.

The report also found that rounding was implemented without consultation, careful planning and piloting in the interests of political expediency following the Francis Inquiry Report into care failures in the NHS.

Ruth Harris, Professor of Health Care for Older Adults at King’s College London, said; “Checking patients regularly to make sure that they are OK is really important but intentional rounding tends to prompt nurses to focus on completion of the rounding documentation rather than on the relational aspects of care delivery.

“Few frontline nursing staff or senior nursing staff felt intentional rounding improved either the quality or the frequency of their interactions with patients and their family.”

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Clinical Updates

Nurses’ ‘worry’ better than most early warning scores, finds study

Nurses were asked to grade patients between ‘no concern’ and ‘extreme concern’. 

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Observations

A sense of worry can provide important information for the detection of acute physiological deterioration.

Nurses’ worry has a “higher accuracy” than most published early warning scores (EWS) at predicting if a patient is becoming more unwell, according to a recent study.

The study looked at 31,159 patient-shifts for 3185 patients during 3551 hospitalisations across two surgical and two medical wards. Researchers compared if the nurses were worried about a patients potential for deterioration using ‘the Worry Factor’ with early warning score indicators.

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Nurses were asked to grade each patient between “no concern” and “extreme concern”.

The Worry Score

Out of 492 potential deterioration events identified, researchers found that when nurses had an increasing worry factor the patient was more likely to require emergency medical treatment – 7 cardiac arrest calls, 86 medical emergency calls and 76 transfers to the intensive care unit.

The study also revealed that accuracy rates were significantly higher in nurses with over a year of experience.

The researchers concluded that “nurses’ pattern recognition and sense of worry can provide important information for the detection of acute physiological deterioration” and was often more reliable than traditional early warning systems.

They also noted that the worry score could be used alone or easily incorporated into existing EWS to potentially improve their performance.

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