IN BRIEF Healthcare workers should identify patients at increased risk during extreme hot weather, Public Health England’s 2015 heatwave plan states. Care homes and hospitals should create cool rooms or areas that can be maintained below 26°C and install thermometers where vulnerable patients spend long periods of time, the document urges. At-risk groups include older people, the very young and people with pre-existing medical conditions. Awards to recognise UK healthcare professionals who exemplify excellence in the care of patients with multiple sclerosis have been launched by the MS Trust. The charity is encouraging MS specialist nurses to enter, as well as matrons, district and practice nurses. Awards will be given in ten categories, including Outstanding MS Specialist Nurse. Entries can be submitted until September 3 and the winners will be announced on November 7. Women who exercise moderately during pregnancy can cut their risk of developing gestational diabetes and limit weight gain. A review of 13 previous research trials involving 2,873 women showed that the risk of developing gestational diabetes was reduced by 36% for women who exercised throughout pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is one of the most common complications of pregnancy, and can lead to serious disorders such as pre-eclampsia, hypertension and pre-term birth. London North West Healthcare NHS Trust has launched a ‘patient passport’ aimed at reducing urinary infections and joining up patients’ care in hospital and community settings. Patients who leave hospital with a catheter receive a document containing all relevant information about their condition. It means that regardless of where the patient is seen, healthcare professionals will have access to their treatment history. The passport offers practical advice to patients on looking after their catheter and what to do if it is not working properly. Draft guidelines on the diagnosis and management of menopause have been published for consultation by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. The guidelines cover when blood tests or imaging can help diagnose menopause, when treatments such as hormone replacement therapy should be offered, and the range of drug and non-drug treatment options available. An oral health guide to help community nurses working with homeless people tackle preventable diseases has been published by the Queen’s Nursing Institute. It offers advice on helping patients overcome fear of dentists, as well as the practical information nurses can offer patients on looking after their teeth. QNI homeless health project manager David Parker-Radford said: ‘Substance misuse, poor nutrition and a lack of toothpaste and toothbrush can contribute to tooth loss, gum disease and mouth cancer.’ For a copy of the guide contact [email protected]

NHS MUST INVEST IN STAFF DEVELOPMENT Plans to make £22 billion in savings and create a seven-day NHS by 2020 will not be realised unless the health service reconnects with staff and develops their skills, warns a leading think tank. The Nuffield Trust has published a briefing highlighting the growing trend of hospitals relying on agency staff, problems recruiting and retaining GPs, and a rise in staff sickness leave caused by stress. Nuffield says these factors, together with the continued effects of holding down pay, suggest disengagement and burnout could hamper progress at a time of immense pressure on the NHS. Nuffield Trust chief executive Nigel Edwards said: ‘The NHS needs to hit ambitious efficiency targets, at the same time as fundamentally changing the way care is delivered and moving to a seven-day service. That can only be done if it has the right staff in the right places. Yet there are not enough staff to fill gaps in key areas, and we are seeing clear signs of stress and disengagement. ‘Solving these problems doesn’t just mean pledging more doctors and nurses,’ he added. ‘We need to use those we have more intelligently, so they’re ready to deal with the growing number of older people with complicated health issues.’

Nurses spend two weeks a year on admin, review finds Nurses are spending up to two working weeks a year on administration tasks, a review to be published shortly has found. Speaking at the NHS Confederation conference in Liverpool last week, health secretary Jeremy Hunt shared some findings from Lord Carter of Coles’ review into procurement and rostering in the NHS. Mr Hunt said the work has shown nurses can spend more than 70 hours a year on administrative tasks, adding: ‘That time could be spent on patient care.’ The review will also flag up inefficiencies in NHS procurement, such as one trust spending £66 for a box of toilet rolls compared with another paying £30 for the same product. Lord Carter will describe his vision for a ‘model hospital’ in terms of procurement in his review, and by September NHS trusts will be told how they can make savings. Trusts will be expected to start making efficiency savings on procurement from January 2016.

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NHS must invest in staff development.

Plans to make £22 billion in savings and create a seven-day NHS by 2020 will not be realised unless the health service reconnects with staff and devel...
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