Poor quality sleep associated with physical and mental health problems.
The government has proposed the introduction of “protected sleep time” in hospitals, a green paper has revealed.
In the long-awaited new report, Advancing our health – prevention in the 2020s, the government said sleep had “received relatively little policy attention”.
The report highlights the growing evidence on the health impacts of lack of sleep and calls on the NHS to determine what can be done to ensure those in care settings are getting the amount of rest that they need.
Estimates suggest that up to three-quarters of adults in the UK regularly sleeping less than 7 hours per night.
Insufficient or poor quality sleep associated with physical and mental health problems, the government suggests an assessment of the currently policies on sleep and the rollout of ‘protected sleep time’ in hospitals – where staff leave patients sleeping unless clinically necessary.
In a recent survey, over one-third of hospital patients report being bothered by noise created by other patients and one in 5 report being bothered by noise created by staff.
Researchers recently commented that the routine repositioning for pressure area care overnight could be considered ‘unintentional institutional abuse’ or torture.
The report also provides numerous other recommendations including; the UK becoming smoke-free by 2030, the ban of energy drinks to under 16s and extending the sugar tax from soft drinks to other highly sweetened products such as milkshakes.
A shift towards prevention.
Helen Donovan, RCN Professional Lead for Public Health, said: “Nurses, who are often the first to have a conversation with patient about preventing long term health conditions, were very supportive of the recent shift towards prevention.
Adding; “we’ve been waiting some time for these plans which appear to have been buried in the dying days of the current Government, In addition, the plans already start at a disadvantage, as the Health Foundation suggests there will be a 25 per cent cut in public health spending per person by 2020/21.
“One way to earn the faith of healthcare professionals would be to urgently pledge to restore cuts to the public health grant which local authorities rely on to deliver essential preventative services such as sexual health and smoking cessation services.
Hospital visitors and volunteers help to reduce nursing workloads, survey finds
Nurses believe a lack of visitors is often detrimental to a patients’ health and speed of recovery.
Two in five hospital patients get no visitors and require additional support from the nursing team.
Nurses working in acute hospitals feel that patients without visitors require additional support from the nursing team, according to a survey by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS).
The survey also revealed that nurses believe a lack of visitors is often detrimental to a patients’ health and speed of recovery in a number of ways. These include; they are less likely to be mobile (43%), less likely to be stimulated through conversation (56%) and less likely to follow medical advice.
It is also estimated that around 37% are more likely to have a longer stay in hospital.
The RVS states that volunteers can step in and play a “vital role” in helping to reduce the nursing workload and freeing up staff for clinical care.
Over half of the NHS nurses questioned said a volunteer presence on ward was very important and that volunteers could help with patient care in a variety of ways. In particular, they referenced; providing non-medical support and assisting at mealtimes.
Double the number of volunteers in the next ten years.
Previous research published in a Kings Fund report also found strong support for volunteering among frontline staff.
With approximately 40,000 unfilled nursing vacancies throughout the NHS in England, volunteers are becoming more important to ensure patient receive care in a timely manner.
Following the NHS Long Term plan asking hospitals to double their volunteers in the next ten years and the recognition of the help they can provide by the NHS nursing team, RVS is calling on more hospitals to make the most of volunteers to improve patient health.
Sam Ward, Director of Commissioned Services for the RVS, said; “With results showing two-fifths of patients may not see a visitor during their hospital stay, it is clear that more is needed to be done to support them.
“Volunteers offer a professional support service, encouraging mental stimulation, physical activity, and more that can play a significant role in both mental and physical recovery.
“It is vital that hospitals work together with volunteer service providers to make sure that patients across the country are able to access this support.”
‘Harmful’ prescription charges for asthma medication should be scrapped, warn nurses
The majority of nurses want ‘harmful’ prescription charges for people with asthma to be scrapped.
Patients are at risk of life-threatening asthma attacks simply because they can’t afford their medication.
Hundreds of nurses called for ‘harmful’ prescription costs for people with asthma to be scrapped after seeing patients have an asthma attack or need emergency treatment because of the high cost of prescriptions.
A report published today by Asthma UK in collaboration with The Royal College of Nursing and Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists, includes findings from a survey of more than 600 nurses in the UK as well as 150 other healthcare professionals including doctors, pharmacists, and paramedics.
The research highlights the harmful impact prescription charges are having on people with asthma, putting them at risk of life-threatening asthma attacks because they can’t afford their medication.
Nurses reported patients borrowing inhalers from their friends, relatives or even their own children because they couldn’t afford to buy their own – putting them at risk of taking the wrong medication, or the wrong dose.
‘An outdated and unfair policy’.
One healthcare professional told Asthma UK that she had found the money herself to pay for her patient’s prescription because she was worried about them being unable to afford their life-saving medication.
A majority of nurses surveyed (92%) want ‘harmful’ prescription charges for people with asthma to be scrapped.
Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK and a qualified nurse, said:“It’s really worrying that nurses who are working so hard to help their patients stay well are seeing people with asthma suffer because of an outdated and unfair policy. It is high time the Government took action and urgently reviewed asthma prescription charges so that people with asthma aren’t put at risk of avoidable but potentially life-threatening asthma attacks. No one should have to pay to breathe.”
‘Only making their condition worse’.
Wendy Preston, Head of Nursing Practice at the Royal College of Nursing said: “It cannot be acceptable that some people with long-term conditions are missing out on their vital medication because they cannot afford it.
“Nurses see the impact of this every day of the week and know what happens when people do not take their vital medication.
“This will only make their condition worse and they will end up needing further treatment adding additional pressure the health and care system.
“It is time that there is equity with other long-term conditions such as diabetes where prescription charges are exempt.”
Asthma UK is urging people with asthma, nurses and other healthcare professionals to join its Stop Unfair Asthma Prescription Charges campaign and sign its petition to end prescription charges.
Mental health and learning disability services are deteriorating, says CQC
Growing pressure on services alongside chronic staffing issues risk creating a ‘perfect storm’ for patients.
Nursing vacancies hit record high leaving patient care at risk
It can be "dangerous" when there aren’t enough nurses to provide care.
Healthcare staff have a ‘professional responsibility’ to get the flu vaccine
This seasons flu vaccination target is set “above 90%”.
Second nurse in a week dies on their way home from work
She was on her way home after finishing her night shift when the accident occurred.
- Newsroom3 weeks ago
Second nurse in a week dies on their way home from work
- Clinical Updates3 weeks ago
Nurses’ ‘worry’ better than most early warning scores, finds study
- Features2 weeks ago
A lack of proper breaks is leaving tired nurses driving dangerously
- Clinical Care2 weeks ago
Hourly rounding ‘may not be the best way for nurses to deliver care’, finds study