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Nurse receives heavy criticism for discussing patients case on Facebook

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A Nurse, in a final act of desperation, reached out to fellow healthcare professionals online in a bid to assist in the healing of a chronic wound.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) offer nurses extensive guidance on their conduct online but it seems this case has delivered somewhat of an ethical dilemma for many.

The Nurse involved claimed to have exhausted all other available options including tissue viability and a multitude of second opinions and only turned to a Facebook group for Nurses as a last resort.

The patient, who remains unidentified, was struggling with a leg wound that despite a multitude of treatments had failed to heal. Her Nurse reached out to colleagues online for help but was met with a mixture of comments with some saying she was “thinking outside the box” and others calling it “inappropriate”, a “breach of confidentiality” and “unprofessional”.

According to the Nurse involved the patient provided full, informed, consent for the discussion and the post contained no identifiable information simply an image of the wound, a short description of the issue and a call for help.

The post was later deleted by the community moderators.

Apps like Figure1 (iOS / Android) can provide a forum for healthcare professionals to seek help from the wider community.

What do you think? Was the nurse thinking “outside of the box”, providing holistic care and simply utilising the resources available to her or did she overstep her boundaries as a healthcare professional?

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. barry andrews

    8th May 2017 at 7:01 pm

    i think although asking the community of nursing students for opinion in cares i rarely a bad thing. The original post inquisition however had no clear statement that content had been gained for either the photo or for their specific case to be openly discussed. i think that this alone was the initial concern of the community

  2. barry andrews

    8th May 2017 at 7:01 pm

    i think although asking the community of nursing students for opinion in cares i rarely a bad thing. The original post inquisition however had no clear statement that content had been gained for either the photo or for their specific case to be openly discussed. i think that this alone was the initial concern of the community

  3. L

    16th May 2017 at 9:32 pm

    I am not in favour of posting pictures of patients in any form on social media, nor should social media be used to discuss specific patients due to its lack of moderation or validation. The nurse im
    sure believed they were acting in the best interest of the patient but the nmc social media guidance does state that it is unnacceptable to discuss matters outside of the clinical area. The matter of consent could not be proven due to confidentiality, it shouldnt have been posted. I dont understand why a registered nurse is on a student page in the first place. The matter should be reported to the nmc, the nurse argues she has done nothing wrong, so she would not have any issues in a formal hearing? She is very honest.

  4. L

    16th May 2017 at 9:32 pm

    I am not in favour of posting pictures of patients in any form on social media, nor should social media be used to discuss specific patients due to its lack of moderation or validation. The nurse im
    sure believed they were acting in the best interest of the patient but the nmc social media guidance does state that it is unnacceptable to discuss matters outside of the clinical area. The matter of consent could not be proven due to confidentiality, it shouldnt have been posted. I dont understand why a registered nurse is on a student page in the first place. The matter should be reported to the nmc, the nurse argues she has done nothing wrong, so she would not have any issues in a formal hearing? She is very honest.

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Secondary Care

NHS waiting lists hit 4 million for first time in ten years

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Four Million NHS patients are currently on waiting lists for surgery – the highest number in the last ten years.

Official NHS performance statistics have revealed that over 4 million patients are currently waiting to be admitted to hospital in England to have surgery – this is the highest number in last 10 years.

Experts have said that an ongoing stream of missed performance targets in A&E, surgical waiting lists and cancer care, clearly demonstrates that the health service is now unsustainable unless it receives additional funding.

Shortages of money, staff and primary care mean that the NHS can not cope with an ongoing and unprecedented rise in demand.

Danny Mortimer, the Deputy Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, said;

“The current system is unsustainable. We simply do not have the resources to deliver what the public now expects”.

The statistics show that just over 4 million patients were waiting to undergo non-urgent operations such as a cataract removals and hip replacements at the end of June – the highest figure since August 2007 and the second highest ever on record.

Jonathan Ashworth, The Shadow Health Secretary, said: “It is staggering that this government have allowed the NHS waiting list to rise over 4 million. A year of Theresa May’s mismanagement of the NHS has pushed services to the brink and left thousands more waiting in pain for routine operations.”

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Secondary Care

£10,000 grant will help burns patients

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A study which is working to improve the use of antibiotics for burns patients has been given a lift thanks to a £10,000 grant.

The project led by Simon Booth, Burns Researcher at Queen Victoria Hospital, was awarded the highest grant given by the Hospital Saturday Fund.

The research, a collaboration between Queen Victoria Hospital and the University of Brighton, is focusing on identifying the right dose of antibiotic for each individual patient to make sure it reaches the infected wound. The study, approved by the National Research Ethics Service, involves taking blood and wound fluid samples to see whether there are sufficient concentrations of antibiotics in the wound and if the bacteria in the wound have resistance to the antibiotics.

Over 140,000 people in England and Wales suffer burn injuries every year, with about 50,000 requiring treatment at specialised burn centres, approximately 13,000 of whom are admitted to hospital. A major problem in the care of these patients is infection, which is a particular risk to patients with burn injuries. An estimated 18 per cent of burn patients acquire infection-related complications – a major cause of morbidity, mortality and increased cost of care.

Simon Booth, Burns Researcher at the Queen Victoria Hospital, explains the project: “Burn wound infections are very common and yet people who are given antibiotics do not always improve, even when we know the bacteria should be killed by the antibiotics. This is particularly concerning with the rise of antimicrobial resistant infections. I am very grateful to the Hospital Saturday Fund for seeing the value of this research. It will give clinicians vital information about antibiotic prescribing and help in the fight to reduce antimicrobial resistance.”

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