02 September 2014

Nurchat discussion - Do safeguarding measures go far enough?

Hospitals are meant to be safe havens for patients to be taken care of and recover when they are at their most vulnerable, however there have been a number of incidents over the last couple of years such as the Mid-Staffs scandal, which have questioned this assumption prompting new guidelines to be written.

 Nurchat, an online discussion group for healthcare professionals,  will be meeting tonight at 8pm on Twitter via #nurchat  to discuss the recently released ‘Safe Staffing Levels Guidance’ for Adult Inpatient Wards and raise two questions; do the guidelines go far enough and are hospitals now safer places to be? 

The new guidance states that it is not possible to have a one size fits all approach to staffing level safety, instead it promotes a framework for establishing safe personnel numbers on a case by case basis.   The Safe Staffing Levels paper advises that these ‘ward level’ guidelines are not a replacement for ‘professional judgement.’ So is the new ‘Red Flag’ reporting system  just an old incentive with a considerably heavier burden of administration?  The lack of definition also casts doubt on the overall effectiveness of the guidelines across the UK’s hospital wards.  

Are you a healthcare professional?  Does the ‘Safe Staffing Levels Guidance’ directly impact you and your place of work?  In your opinion will it be feasible and is this a good use of already stretched budgets?  Do you think the new guidance will decrease individual workloads and allow more time to be spent on each patient? Should it have gone further and been given an absolute minimum staffing level threshold?