Paramedics will be given body cameras as part of a new wellbeing pledge.
In an initial pilot, 465 ambulances and their paramedics will be equipped with body cameras, with potential for a full rollout to all paramedics, and other priority areas.
The NHS is the UK’s largest employer with over 1.5 million staff, caring for a million patients every 24 hours. It is recognised as one of the most respected institutions in the UK, yet over 15% of NHS staff have experienced physical violence from patients, or their families, during the past year.
In the past year, 354 prosecutions have been brought against individuals who have subjected ambulance staff to violence – but estimates suggest this is a fraction of the total incidents.
Nobody should feel unsafe at work.
Health and Social Care secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Nobody should feel unsafe at work – abuse against healthcare workers goes against everything the NHS stands for. Whilst the buck must stop with abusers, we want to do everything we can to prevent physical and verbal abuse. Issuing paramedics with body cameras will help protect them and increase prosecutions.
“The NHS is consistently rated as the thing that makes us most proud to be British, but it’s not the institution or buildings that the public are so passionate about, it’s the people on the frontline that care for them in their hour of need. Demand for NHS services has been soaring in recent years as our population has aged and increased, staff have been under huge pressure and have never worked harder.
“In these challenging circumstances, they need to know that the NHS is striving to be the best employer it can be – particularly when supporting the mental health of staff.”
Ruth May, Executive Director of Nursing, NHS Improvement said: “The NHS’s greatest asset is its people: frontline staff and managers who often work in highly stressful and challenging circumstances so that people get the safe and high-quality care they deserve.
“In order to secure the future of the NHS and what it stands for, we must strive to be the very best employer. This means looking after our staff and supporting their health and wellbeing. This will also enable them to deliver the best care possible, both now and in future.”
One in six nursing associates drop out before qualifying, finds report
Despite this trainees showed “high levels of enthusiasm and commitment to the programme”.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
- Newsroom2 weeks ago
Second nurse in a week dies on their way home from work
- Clinical Updates2 weeks ago
Nurses’ ‘worry’ better than most early warning scores, finds study
- Features1 week ago
A lack of proper breaks is leaving tired nurses driving dangerously
- Clinical Care1 week ago
Hourly rounding ‘may not be the best way for nurses to deliver care’, finds study