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Hospital doctor embodies everything good about the NHS

The innovative surgery has never been performed in the UK before and involved four consultants.



The Consultant Surgeon stole the hearts of millions of viewers as he fought to ensure a patient’s life-changing surgery went ahead.

Dilip Srinivasan, Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon and Clinical Director at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trusts stole the hearts of millions of views after revealing his refreshingly down-to-earth approach to patient care.

During the episode, Mr Srinivasan is due to perform life-changing surgery on Val Blunden, who’s entire jaw was destroyed by mouth cancer several years earlier, but an instruction from the Department of Health to cancel all such surgeries puts her surgery at risk of being cancelled.


The innovative surgery has never been performed in the UK before and involved four consultants.

Explaining the surgery Mr Srinivasian said; “We had to use a different type of technique. What we have done in Nottingham is grow the bone by a distraction.

“What that technique is when you break a bone, for the bone to heal it [requires] first the soft bone – before the bone becomes hard – being stretched to make the bone longer.

“That’s the technique that we have used. We have done this in a few operations before, But what we have not done is on a patient missing bone, skin and muscles.

“All three missing I have not come across anyone in the UK who has done it or in world literature.”

When informed that Val’s surgery was on the list to be cancelled Mr Srinivasan worked alongside general managers, Jo Fort and David Dalby to ensure the surgery went ahead.

During filming, Mr Srinivasan was asked why he pushed so hard to ensure the surgery went ahead Mr Srinivasan replied; “Urgency, you are talking from whose perspective? If you can’t go out of your house, you can’t eat, you can’t talk, it is urgent”. 

Filmmakers questioned Mr Srinivasan on why is thought the surgery was necessary; “It doesn’t sound very urgent?”. “It doesn’t matter what she is, what she is now is the question. What she is now is someone who is suffering” replied Mr Srinivasan.

Since filming Val’s jaw was grown by 9cm and she continues to do well.

A spokesperson for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust said; “Thank you for featuring the work of Dilip and our Maxillofacial team. We have had a great response both to them and to Val and her family, and the progress she is making. Since January we have unfortunately had to cancel 800 routine operations, but we hope that Hospital is showing how we have worked as a team to make difficult choices in the best interests of our patients.”

You can catch up on ‘Hospital’ on BBC iPlayer.



One in six nursing associates drop out before qualifying, finds report

Despite this trainees showed “high levels of enthusiasm and commitment to the programme”.



Group of nurses in meeting

Only 65% of trainee nursing associates said they planned to work as a nursing associate once qualified.

An independent evaluation of the nursing associate role commissioned by Health Education England (HEE) has found that while there are “high levels of enthusiasm and commitment to the programme”, one in six nursing associates are dropping out before completing the course.

Attrition rates for trainee nursing associates fell slightly below that of student nurses, with 18% leaving before completing the course.


While ill health and personal issues were some of the most common reasons for leaving the programme, nearly a quarter (23%) withdrew because they failed to meet the academic requirements of the programme – with numeracy skills cited as a key issue.

One trainee said they found the “attitudes towards the role and the negative feedback about Nursing Associates” challenging.

Only 65% of trainees said they intend to continue working as a nursing associate once qualified as the programme is often seen as a stepping stone to becoming a registered nursing.

Highlighting challenges.

Mark Radford, Chief Nursing Officer, Health Education England said the report “highlights some challenges that we must address to ensure that students such as ensuring the quality and oversight of placements, attrition and numeracy support.”

“We also recognise that further work and research is required to ensure that the profession is supported and utilised in the workforce of health and social care as part of the MDT. I am pleased to be able to report that we are in the process of identifying candidates to be considered as NA ambassadors across England.

Commenting on the report, Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Executive and Registrar for the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), said; “Having had the pleasure of meeting many nursing associates across the country, I am continually inspired by their enthusiasm and dedication for providing care and they should be very proud of the difference they make for the people they support.”

“I look forward to seeing how nursing associates continue to develop and be supported in their work, long into the future.”

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UCAS accused of having an ‘outdated’ view on nurses

They describe the nursing role to prospective students as looking after people when they are sick or injured.



Student Nurse Lecture Theatre

UCAS describes nurses as providing “support to doctors and other medical staff”.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has been accused of having an “outdated” view on nurses after it described the profession as providing “support to doctors and other medical staff”.

UCAS describes the nursing role to prospective students as looking after people when they are sick or injured. Adding; “You’ll provide support to doctors and other medical staff, take blood and urine samples, and in some cases, you may carry out minor surgical procedures.”


Nurses, alongside a multitude of other healthcare professionals, have taken to social media calling for the description to be amended so it “adequately reflects nursing in the 21st century”. They also criticised the article for failing to highlight a large number of health promotion and research roles frequently undertaken by the profession.

BJ Walto, a senior member of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) commented that the description is “inaccurate, demeaning and totally misleading portrayal of nursing.”

Tom Wavlin, a Lecturer in Adult Nursing & Admissions Tutor at the University of Plymouth, suggested the description could instead read; “an autonomous practitioner of nursing who works closely with other healthcare professionals”.

In comparison, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) website reads; “Registered nurses play a vital role in providing, leading and coordinating care that is compassionate, evidence-based, and person-centred. They are accountable for their own actions and must be able to work autonomously, or as an equal partner with a range of other professionals, and in interdisciplinary teams.”

A spokesperson for UCAS said; “It’s clear that our current role profile for nurses doesn’t reflect the amazing work that nurses across the country do each day, and we welcome the feedback we’ve recently received.

“We want to make sure that students considering their future options have up-to date information about all different careers available to them.

“We’re currently updating all of our job profiles and are in touch with nursing experts to help us make sure that we better reflect the roles and responsibilities of nurses today.”

UPDATE (17/10/19 09:55): This article was updated to include a comment from UCAS.

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