Government ‘reneging on promise to fund 10,000 extra nursing places’

Scrapping nursing bursaries was supposed to expand training places – but that pledge has been quietly dropped, universities say | The Guardian

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Universities are warning that the government is quietly reneging on its promise to provide 10,000 new nursing degree places, intended to relieve pressure on the NHS.

Student nurses must spend 50% of their degree working under supervision, usually in a hospital. But universities have told Education Guardian that not a single extra nursing training place has been funded or allocated for the future. It would cost £15m over five years to fund training placements for 10,000 new nurses, according to the Council of Deans of Health, the body that represents university faculties of nursing.

Applications to study nursing in the new 2017-18 academic year have slumped by 23% compared with last year, after the abolition of bursaries. The government said last year it would free up £800m and pay for an extra 10,000 places by ending bursaries and shifting student nurses to the standard system of £9,000-a-year tuition fees supported by loans. Angry academics now say this was a hollow promise.

Read the full news story here

Women and leadership – (still) more to do

Despite the advances of recent years, two recent reports, Women in finance and Women on boards: 50:50 by 2020, once again draw attention to the problems women still face in obtaining senior leadership positions within the NHS and outside it | The King’s Fund

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Women in finance is about fairness, equality and inclusion for women and men. It is predicated on a desire for gender parity and a balanced workforce because, as the evidence makes clear, this improves culture, behaviour, outcomes, profitability and productivity. However, the current situation in the financial services sector is quite different; more women than men start out in financial services but many women fail to move up the management scale. This leaves almost all the top jobs in the hands of men. The main reason for this, it appears, is organisational culture.

One study conducted in 2016 across a wide range of employment sectors found that unsupportive workplace cultures still present the most significant barrier to career progress for women. Amazingly this was the case for female respondents in the 20-29 age group as well as for older respondents. Gender inequality and discrimination were reported, as were difficult colleagues and managers, bullying, undervalued work, and women feeling that they have to over-perform simply because they are female. Recommendations following this study included building closer relationships between men and women in the workplace, and the provision of opportunities to discuss gender issues experienced within the organisational culture.

Workplace Mindfulness Program for Public Sector Employees

Mindfulness training appears to reduce stress and distress, but little is known about whether its appropriateness as a workplace stress management intervention for a large and distributed public sector workforce.

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This study evaluated a pilot 5-week Mindfulness at Work Program (MaWP) for acceptability, feasibility, and efficacy in relation to stress and related mental health and productivity problems for public sector employees.

The intervention thus appears to have potential merit as a workplace intervention for public sector employees across a range of outcomes. Obtaining informant observations was feasible and while qualitative analyses indicated positive changes that supported self-reported outcomes, quantitative analyses returned ambiguous results. A seven-item scale adapted from a popular self-report mindfulness scale for use by informants showed promise, but further work is needed to establish validity, reliability, and scalability of this method of assessing observable changes following mindfulness training.

Full reference: Bartlett, L. et al. (2017) Acceptability, Feasibility, and Efficacy of a Workplace Mindfulness Program for Public Sector Employees: a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial with Informant Reports. Mindfulness. 8(639)

New workforce supply resource from NHS Employers

NHS Employers has developed a range of new workforce supply web pages to support healthcare employers.

The resource has been set up to help organisations consider the political and social context they are employing staff in, and to develop a workforce strategy that is wide ranging, yet achievable. It addresses the challenges employers face in terms of planning for educating, recruiting, developing and retaining their staff.

Visit the Workforce Supply resource here

 

How much progress is the NHS making on workforce diversity?

Overturning decades of discrimination will not happen overnight but there have been small yet significant improvements | The Guardian Healthcare Network

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The NHS would grind to a standstill without the contribution of its black and minority ethnic (BME) staff. A fifth of nurses and midwives and a third of doctors are from BME backgrounds. Yet, by almost every measure, their treatment is poorer than that of their white colleagues. The latest report on the experience of these staff (pdf), drawn from nine workforce and staff survey metrics from all 236 trusts in England, makes sobering reading.

The more senior the pay grade, the less likely it will be filled by BME staff. Almost a quarter (24%) of nurses and midwives at entry grade 5 are from BME backgrounds, but this falls to 4% once senior management grades (8C and 8D) are reached.

Read the full news article here

Enabling Professionalism In Nursing And Midwifery Practice

This guide is aimed at all nurses and midwives and sets out what professionalism can look like in everyday practice | Nursing and Midwifery Council

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Professionalism means something to everyone who works as a nurse or midwife. Being an inspiring role model working in the best interests of people in your care, regardless of what position you hold and where you deliver care, is what really brings practice and behaviour together in harmony.  This guide demonstrates how applying the values of the code of conduct should be at the centre of all nursing and midwifery practice. For employers, it identifies key principles which will help them to provide practice environments that support and encourage professionalism among nurses and midwives.

New publications from the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network

The NHS Confederation Mental Health Network has published two papers looking at the mental health workforce

The Future of the mental health workforce

The NHS Confederation Mental Health Network has published The future of the mental health workforce.  This discussion paper presents data on the current picture of the mental health workforce and looks at emerging findings from research to identify the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the mental health workforce. A final report will be published later in 2017.

Mental health and integrated care

Also published is Mental health and community providers: lessons for integrated care.  This briefing looks at how mental health and community provider organisations are exploring the multi-speciality provider model and how it can drive the delivery of integrated mental and physical healthcare.  The briefing presents key points and lessons learned.