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Confessions of a Junior Doctor reveals the sad truth about the NHS

Ian Snug

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Image courtesy of Channel 4.

Channel 4’s Confessions of a Junior Doctor reveals the sad truth about the NHS and why so many Doctors and Nurses are leaving.

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It’s no secret that healthcare workers have some of the toughest professions and the Channel 4 documentary Confessions of a Junior Doctor shows that things are only getting worse.

There is only a single word that can describe the Junior Doctors featured in the show – and that is exhausted.

The show follows three trainees at different stages in their careers as they speak openly about their day-to-day lives working in an NHS Hospital.

In a single day, Dr Holly Lomos is responsible for between 50 and 75 patients and admits since starting the job she hasn’t finished work on time once. She says: “The most difficult thing when you start as a new doctor is realising that you’re not going to be able to help everybody”.

The current strain on the NHS to provide services to an increasing number of patients on an ever decreasing budget is taking its toll on junior doctors and other healthcare professionals as moral reaches an all-time low.

On top of low moral, recent changes to taxation laws (IR35) and NHSI recommendations mean that staffing shortages are also hitting the NHS hard.

Last year almost a third of junior doctors left the NHS after two years and applications to work in the NHS from EU countries has dropped by 92%.

You can watch Confessions of a Junior Doctor on Channel 4.

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NMC says regulation for nursing associates moves a step closer

James M

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The Nursing and Midwifery Council say regulation for nursing associates is getting closer and is expected by July 2018.

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The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has welcomed the Department of Health’s consultation on proposed changes to its legislation to enable the regulation of nursing associates.

The consultation follows the decision of the NMC’s Council to agree to regulate the new role, following a request from the Secretary of State for Health in January 2017.

Earlier this month the NMC released it’s draft standards of proficiency for Nursing Associates.

Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said:

“This consultation is a vital step towards the NMC becoming the regulator of nursing associates.

“It’s always been our ambition to open the register to nursing associates in January 2019, when the first trainees qualify. But in order to do so, it’s critical that Government drives through the necessary changes to our legislation, to ensure that we’re able to protect the public from the moment the first qualified nursing associates begin to practise.”

The NMC expects the necessary changes to its legislation to come into force by July 2018. This will give the regulator six months until the first trainees qualify to complete the activities that need to be in place in order to open the register. This includes approving the NMC’s Rules and fees, approval of the final nursing associate standards and approval of nursing associates programme providers.

The consultation, Regulation of Nursing Associates in England, will run from 16 October to 26 December.

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Snacks sold in hospital shops should be under 250 calories

James M

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Image: Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

NHS England says snacks sold in hospitals canteens or shops should all be under 250 calories.

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NHS Hospitals will be given cash incentives to comply with a new ‘healthy eating’ campaign which will see a significant reduction in the number of sugary snacks, drinks and confectionary inside hospital shops and canteens.

The proposals will also extend to sandwiches, which must be under 400 calories, and all other pre-packed savoury meals, which should contain no more than 5g of saturated fat per 100g. Cans and bottles of sugary soft drinks are also covered by the ban, as well as sugary drinks made in cafes and canteens such as coffees with sugar syrup.

Hospital chiefs will need to ensure that 80% of items sold do not exceed the 250-calorie limit in order to receive the cash bonus.

It is unknown if this ban will extend to third-party organisations such as Costa Coffee and Starbucks.

Research has suggested that almost 700,000 of 1.3 million NHS employees are overweight or obese.

Last year, controversial expert hypnotist Steve Miller said healthcare professionals should lead the fight against the fat and wants overweight NHS staff to carry ‘I’m fat, but I’m losing it’ badges to inspire patients and colleagues.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said:

“The NHS is now stepping up action to combat the super-size snack culture which is causing an epidemic of obesity, preventable diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease and cancer. “In place of calorie-laden, sugary snacks we want to make healthier food an easy option for hospital staff, patients and visitors.”

NHS England has pledged to boost the sale of healthy foods and end promotions of sugary and fatty or salty foods at checkouts.

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