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BBC’s ‘Hospital’ returns with a story of the NHS in unprecedented times



The BBC’s ‘Hospital’ will return to screens on Monday and show how a hospital and its staff manage during the busiest winter on record.

The BBC critically acclaimed documentary will return to screens on Monday (26/03/2017) after being filmed at one of the biggest and busiest teaching hospitals in the country, Nottingham University Hospitals‘ Queens Medical Centre and City Hospital, during the busiest winter on record.

The popular show was filming when the hospitals emergency department was at its worst, with the waiting rooms and corridors filled with patients on trolleys and during filming the NHS ordered the suspension of all non-urgent care.


Each episode shows the impact of ever-increasing demands on the NHS’s services shown from different perspectives – patients, families, clinical staff and managers.

Despite the pressures of limited resources and increasing patient numbers, ‘Hospital’ shows the extraordinary work of some of NUH’s 15,000 staff as they push the boundaries of what is possible with cutting-edge treatments, clinical research, innovations and life-saving operations.

NUH’s Chief Operating Officer, Caroline Shaw, says letting the cameras in was all about showing a wider audience what it takes to deliver care in one of the country’s biggest and busiest teaching hospitals.

She said: “‘Hospital’ has been a good opportunity to show people our exceptional staff and the hard work and dedication of ‘Team NUH’ who are committed to providing the best quality of care. This isn’t a sugar-coated look at the NHS; it is a true picture of the challenges but also captures the moments of absolute pride in the excellent care that we give to our patients and their families.

“We hope people will get a real insight into the inner workings of NUH, and the many, many unsung heroes in the background who do such a fantastic job of keeping our hospitals running 24/7. ‘Hospital’ shows the extraordinary work our staff do every day from routine care to cutting- edge treatments and life-saving operations.”

‘Hospital’ returns to BBC Two on Monday at 21:00hrs.



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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