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NMC proposes controversial shake-up of Educational Standards for Student Nurses

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Draft educational standards for student nurses reveal that Mentors could be replaced by Educational Assessors.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has announced a full consultation on the proposed changes to educational standards will start in June 2017.

The educational standards are the framework that Universities must follow for their graduates to gain entry on the NMC Register.

The draft educational standards from the Nursing and Midwifery Council also include a range of clinical skills such as; NG tube insertion, IV drug administration, catheterisation, ECGs, venepuncture, and blood transfusion administration.

It also reveals that elements of prescribing will be taught in pre-registration programmes. The NMC say this will be a “stepping stone to earlier access to gain prescribing qualifications after registration” but nurses would not graduate with prescribing rights.

The NMC has also proposed that simulation could be used for up to half of the 2,300 practice hours required to register. Controversially, this could mean student nurses spend less time on clinical placements.

Finally, there is a proposal to replace mentors with educational assessors and supervisors – meaning students could be supervised by any healthcare professional instead of limiting this to registered nurses.

You can view the current educational standards on the NMC website.

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Midwifery

Royal College of Midwives to end campaign to promote ‘normal births’

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The Royal College of Midwives ends their campaign for “normal births” to avoid making mothers who opt for medical interventions feel like failures.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has been running a continuous campaign since 2005 to encourage expectant mothers to give birth without medical interventions such as; epidurals, inductions and caesareans.

Currently, around 40% of mothers give birth without medical interventions. 20% less than 30 years ago. But experts say a significant number of these are due to the increase in more risky pregnancies.

Prof Cathy Warwick, the Chief Executive of the RCM, said;

“There was a danger that if you just talk about normal births – and particularly if you call it a campaign – it kind of sounds as if you’re only interested in women who have a vaginal birth without intervention”.

“What we don’t want to do is in any way contribute to any sense that a woman has failed because she hasn’t had a normal birth. Unfortunately, that seems to be how some women feel.”

“What we don’t want to do is in any way contribute to any sense that a woman has failed because she hasn’t had a normal birth. Unfortunately that seems to be how some women feel.”

Midwives, will instead, start to use the term “physiological births” to describe those without interventions.

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Pancreatic cancer patients to have routine access to life extending drug after new deal

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NICE has recommended nab-paclitaxel for routine NHS use after the company agreed a confidential price discount and provided more evidence on its effectiveness.

Nab-paclitaxel, also known as Abraxane, made by Celgene will be routinely available as an option for patients with pancreatic cancer that has progressed.

When Abraxane is added to a standard chemotherapy, called gemcibatine the evidence has found it extends life by an average of 2.4 months.

If other combination chemotherapy treatments are unsuitable for a patient, NICE recommends offering Abraxane instead of this standard chemotherapy on its own.

It works by blocking the action of the proteins within cancer cells that cause them to grow and divide.

NICE has reviewed its guidance from 2015 which did not recommend Abraxane for routine NHS use for not being cost-effective.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the centre for health technology evaluation at NICE, said: The life expectancy of pancreatic cancer is poor, with patients usually living for only up to 6 months. It’s incredibly important that patients and families affected by this disease are able to have routine access to this life extending treatment.”

There are almost 10,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer each year in the UK, and less than 1% survive for 10 or more years.

This is a final appraisal determination for Abraxane. The company, healthcare professionals and patient/carer organisations now have until Friday 1 September to appeal the decision.

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