Royal College of Nursing says nurses are overloaded with paperwork

Nurses bogged down by red tape

Published Date: 10 October 2010
By Lyndsay Moss
NURSES in Scotland are “overloaded” with paperwork which is stopping them caring for patients, leaders of the profession have warned. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said evidence suggested administrative tasks take up two-thirds of nurses’ time at work.

Royal College of Nursing logo

In a manifesto ahead of next year’s Scottish elections, the organisation said the situation could get worse with planned cuts in the number of administrative staff in the NHS.

The RCN is calling for an urgent review of paperwork so that nurses can spend more time with patients. It also called for more action to protect and encourage whistleblowers reporting workplace problems, as well as ensuring the most vulnerable groups in society were not hit hardest by public sector cutbacks.

The Scottish Government said it wanted nurses to have as much time as possible to care directly for patients. The RCN said that while some clinical paperwork was necessary, far too much non-essential admin was being done by nurses.

“Nurses of all levels and from all areas of health and social care tell us that they are overloaded with paperwork and administrative tasks,” the document says.

Read the full article HERE

BCS Health Scotland Conference 2010

BCS Health Scotland Conference 2010 NHS Scotland logo

Open for Registrations 22nd and 23rd September 2010

Register now for the most exciting eHealth conference in Scotland this year! Held at the prestigious Glasgow Science Centre you not only have a great programme, wide range of exhibitors, great views over the Clyde and City but complementary entrance to the fun science exhibits as well!

The futuristic building mirrors BCS Health Scotland’s Innovative and Modern outlook See Here

We have an extensive International speaker Programme over both days with three themes held in twin parallel tracks.

Keynote speakers include:

Matthew Swindells, former CIO Connecting for Health, and chair BCS Health

Rikard Lovstrom from Sweden to talk about their National Patient Overview project and eHealth strategy

Dorothy Whittick from Canada talking about the Canadian Health Infoway national developments and a Wellness project in Alberta

Brian Robson from Scotland on the Quality theme and his experiences with IHI in America.

Kathy Dallest from Australia speaking on Clinical Safety Management in eHealth.

New! NHS Scotland eHealth Awards!

An exciting new event will be presentation of the ‘NHS Scotland eHealth Awards!’. These awards are given to winning NHS teams for three categories sponsored by BCS and Scottish Government.

Twin Exhibitions: We are very grateful to our sponsors with 18 commercial exhibitions in a superb bright atrium area and ANOTHER FIRST: 15 public information stands in a separate gallery open to the public. There is plenty to see!

The three main themes to be addressed at the BCS Health Scotland Conference 2010 are Quality, Innovation, and Efficiency. International speakers from Australia, Canada, Sweden, America, Ireland, Wales and numerous UK speakers will position themselves on current relevant issues such as patient safety, the quality strategy, efficiency gains from IT and more.

For the first time, the NHS Scotland eHealth Awards will be presented to eHealth teams in Scotland. These awards will be presented by Scottish Government and by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, to help boost the status of the IT profession in NHS Scotland at a time of significant change.

Moreover the new Vidiowiki delegate social networking tool will be used for linking up delegates before and after the event. Users can navigate a mind-map of delegates, speakers and exhibitors to create linkups and watch short clips about presentations and demos. This will help planning and networking before coming to the event.

A selection of posters will be available to view during the conference:

  • A novel security risk assessment model – Napier University
  • Clinical content modeling – NHS National Services Scotland
  • Trans-national exchange of eHealth innovations in northern Europe- Aberdeen University
  • A Study to evaluate the effectiveness of an electronic dashboard – Ulster hospital
  • A Study to evaluate the response times for alerts – Ulster hospital

Around 250 participants are expected to take part in this open event. Online registration is possible here. Details about fees and early bird registration can be found online.

A draft programme for the event can be found online at the event website.

Exhibitors are also leading a fun social evening at 5pm on the first day.

Yet again BCS Health Scotland has been able to produce all this for the incredibly low delegate registration prices starting as low as £30.

So register soon for the early bird rates, find us here BCS Health Scotland Conference

Plans to replace consultants with nurses in NHS Scotland

  • Medical staff
    Nurse in A&E

Exclusive: Kate Foster

30 May 2010

Patients will be assessed by nurses instead of consultants and spend less time in hospital under controversial cutbacks to meet waiting time targets in Scotland.

Many follow-up appointments will be scrapped altogether and patients could be discharged from hospital at weekends under the scheme.

The groundbreaking plans to “streamline” the NHS have been revealed as hospital managers prepare to meet an ambitious target that no patient should wait longer than 18 weeks from a GP referral to the date of their operation.

The move will allow thousands to be treated faster but last night doctors and politicians raised fears it could compromise patient care.

The sweeping changes have emerged in official advice to NHS managers from the Scottish Government’s 18-week Referral to Treatment Time Programme, staffed by doctors and health officials.

Key changes proposed by the experts, revealed in a briefing to health boards, include using specialist nurses and health professionals such as physiotherapists to “reduce consultant appointments” by assessing whether the patient needs a specialist or just requires advice.

Nurses will also be trained to carry out some follow-up appointments and many outpatients will be seen at weekends.

The advice also states day surgery should be “the norm” rather than traditional overnight stays and patients discharged “as soon as they are ready”, including weekends which previously hospitals have avoided due to scarce community services. Health boards are also told to eliminate unnecessary follow-up appointments by scrapping them or replacing them with phone calls.

The move applies across all specialties for non-urgent patients as part of a £230 million three-year scheme to improve NHS infrastructure.

Managers must consider making the changes to free up consultant appointments and hospital beds.

Follow the link to read more about plans to replace consultants with nurses in  NHS Scotland

Hospitals in England and Wales plan to cut medical and nursing staff to save cash

From The Sunday Times
April 25, 2010

Secret NHS cuts to axe thousands of medics

Hospitals across England are planning to shed at least 650 doctors and 2,000 nurses under new cost-cutting plans

Burnham claims savings can be made just by cutting waste

Burnham claims savings can be made just by cutting waste

Jonathan Oliver

HUNDREDS of doctors and thousands of nurses will lose their jobs over the next five years under secret cost-cutting plans.

The cuts to clinical staff, exposed in documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, undermine Labour’s election pledge to protect services.

Half of all hospitals that responded to the FoI requests said they were planning to cut the number of doctors and nurses. Two-thirds also said they would cut the number of hospital beds.

Ministers have always insisted that the planned efficiency savings could be achieved by cutting waste and bureaucracy alone.

Click the link to read more about NHS Staff cuts

Medical and Dental Defence Union says poor handover procedures at shift changes pose a risk to patients.

Shift handover risk to patient

Published Date: 10 April 2010

POOR handover procedures in hospitals pose a “significant risk” to patients, doctors’ representatives have claimed.

The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland said there were now an increasing number of shift changes, following the launch of the European Working Time Directive, limiting the hours doctors are allowed to work.

It said there were renewed concerns of a breakdown in continuity of care as patients were being repeatedly handed over to different shifts. The union is backing a Royal College of Physicians investigation into the issue and wants doctors to report any incidents.

Click the link to read this article about handover procedures

Is the Solution mobile data capture?

Kelvin Connect are a Scottish Company &  innovative developer of mobile data capture and management systems based on hand-held computers (PDAs) for use by large organisations with a mobile workforce. Our development techniques overcome the complexities of handling structured documents on hand-held computers for both data capture and data access applications.

In General Hospitals, Team Talk has been deployed in many hospitals to enable ‘Hospital at Night’ services to be implemented, enabling fast, efficient and accurate data to be collected at the point of care and this data to be efficiently handed-over to the next shift.

The benefits of a system like this are:

* Complete, mobile IT systems customised for specific disciplines

* No transcription from paper forms

* Clean, validated data collected at the point of care ensures consistently high-quality care

* Reporting time dramatically reduced

* A highly effective mobile front-end to EPR systems

* Safer and more accurate handovers

Click the following link to find out more about Kelvin Connect and mobile data capture

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde denies it is planning to cut nurse numbers to save money.

Scotland’s largest health board plans to reduce its nursing staff over the next five years in a bid to save £12m.

NHS GGC is unable to say yet how many nursing posts will go
NHS GGC is unable to say yet how many nursing posts will go

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) said the cut would be achieved through “natural wastage and staff retirement”.

It is not yet able to clarify how many posts will be lost from registered nursing and nursing support staff.

NHS GGC said the changes would see unqualified support staff trained to take on some lower-level duties currently carried out by nursing staff.

The health board’s nurse director, Rosslyn Crocket, told BBC Radio Scotland that the new staffing arrangements would be made in the context of changes to patient care.

For more information on this nursing story

Royal College of Nursing survey finds nurses struggling to cope with workload

Nurses ‘too busy’ for proper care


Generic nurse and syring
The majority of nurses thought there were not enough staff

More than half of nurses working in Scotland are “too busy” to provide patients with the standard of care they would like to, a union has claimed.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said its study also found 51% of nurses thought there were not enough staff to meet patients’ needs.

While 44% of those who responded thought patient care was compromised “at least once a week”.

A total of 1,400 nurses across Scotland were questioned in the RCN survey.

The study found that 52% of nurses said they were unable to give patients as much care as they would like to because of the demands on their time.

RCN figures showed that patient numbers had increased from 6.7 per registered nurse on average in 2007 to 7.2 this year.


We know that when there are not enough nurses, patient care suffers, as the results from this survey show

Theresa Fyffe
RCN Scotland

RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe said the body was “concerned” about the survey’s findings.

For more information about Royal College of Nursing survey