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Nurses in Britain are Buried by Paperwork

Nurses in Britain are Buried by Paperwork

Nurses in Britain buried in paperwork planningforcare.co.ukNurses in Britain spend an estimated 2.5 million hours a week on “non-essential” paperwork that’s where Planning for Care can help

The Royal College of Nursing believes nurses are burdened with too much paperwork and too many targets.

I think every nurse would support that belief.

The view adopted by the inspectors and auditors appears to be ‘if it’s not written down, it’s not happening.’

In reality, there can be a well written Care Plan but the quality of care might bear no resemblance to what is set out within the Care Plan.

Nurses would much rather spend their time caring for patients or residents than completing paperwork such as care plans.

Unless nurses are producing excellent Care Plans, Care Home grades will suffer.

30 years ago written Care Plans did not exist, but the care delivered was, in the main, very good or excellent.

Perhaps this was because nurses did not have to spend much of their time producing the volume of paperwork that is necessary today.

I do very much believe in the benefit of care plans today.

It is the way forward and if written well, can really have the capacity to have a substantial effect and improve the quality of care.

Documentation is a crucial aspect of care, which facilitates the continuity of care and it forms an accurate record of care provided. It is now vitally important that the quality of resident’s care and nursing documentation is of the highest standard.

How Our Care Plans Can Help

A good system of Care Planning undoubtedly can help the nurses and carers complete the paperwork far quicker and more comprehensively.

A system of personalising care planning for the elderly, which Planning for Care provides, can vastly improve the delivery of care and help Care Homes improve the grading they are awarded by the Care Inspectorate by helping them meet their regulatory requirements.

“The challenges facing everyone in the care sector are growing exponentially with constant changes in law, increased regulation and the potential threat of litigation.”

The focus on nursing appears to have changed and, instead of it being a wonderful, satisfying and fulfilling occupation, it is now very much a race against time.

It is in everyone’s interest that the standards of care improve.

The National Health Service, and nurses in Britain are wonderful institutions which have to survive and flourish.

Progress is a great thing, but there needs to be a balance to ensure there is no deterioration in the very core standards and values of nursing. We need to rethink the path we are taking.

The days of placing massive importance on positioning each pillow case with the closed end facing the entrance door of the ward have gone!

But was it really such a pointless exercise?

In those days every nurse knew every detail about every patient, and every aspect of patient care was delivered with precision and thought.

Patient care may have been delivered in a task orientated way, but attention to detail was everything.

The pride nurses had in their job was tangible.

A mixture of the nursing cultures of yesteryear and today is, I think, needed to help elevate nursing to the high standard of profession it should be.

View our free sample Care Plan or our full range of Care Plans here. 

Nurses in Britain spend an estimated 2.5 million hours a week on “non-essential” paperwork – Planning for Care Can Help

Britain’s nurses spend an estimated 2.5 million hours a week on ‘non-essential’ paperwork and clerical tasks, according to research.

The Royal College of Nursing believes nurses are burdened with too much paperwork and too many targets.

I think every nurse would support that belief.

The view adopted by the inspectors and auditors appears to be ‘if it’s not written down, it’s not happening.’

In reality, there can be a well written Care Plan but the quality of care might bear no resemblance to what is set out within the Care Plan.

Nurses would much rather spend their time caring for patients or residents than completing paperwork such as care plans.

Unless nurses are producing excellent Care Plans, Care Home grades will suffer.

30 years ago written Care Plans did not exist, but the care delivered was, in the main, excellent.

Perhaps this was because nurses did not have to spend much of their time producing the volume of paperwork that is necessary today.

I do very much believe in the benefit of care plans today.

It is the way forward and if written well, can really have the capacity to have a substantial effect and improve the quality of care.

Documentation is a crucial aspect of care, which facilitates the continuity of care and it forms an accurate record of care provided. It is now vitally important that the quality of resident’s care and nursing documentation is of the highest standard.

A good system of Care Planning undoubtedly can help the nurses and carers complete the paperwork far quicker and more comprehensively.

A system of personalising care planning for the elderly, which Planning for Care provides, can vastly improve the delivery of care and help Care Homes improve the grading they are awarded by the Care Inspectorate by helping them meet their regulatory requirements.

“The challenges facing everyone in the care sector are growing exponentially with constant changes in law, increased regulation and the potential threat of litigation.”

The focus on nursing appears to have changed and, instead of it being a wonderful, satisfying and fulfilling occupation, it is now very much a race against time.

It is in everyone’s interest that the standards of care improve.

The National Health Service is such a wonderful institution and it has to survive and flourish.

Progress is a great thing, but there needs to be a balance to ensure there is no deterioration in the very core standards and values of nursing. We need to rethink the path we are taking.

The days of placing massive importance on positioning each pillow case with the closed end facing the entrance door of the ward have gone!

But was it really such a pointless exercise?

In those days every nurse knew every detail about every patient, and every aspect of patient care was delivered with precision and thought.

Patient care may have been delivered in a task orientated way, but attention to detail was everything.

The pride nurses had in their job was tangible.

A mixture of the nursing cultures of yesteryear and today is, I think, needed to help elevate nursing to the high standard of profession it should be.

Patients denied care as nurses fill in forms

Hospital patients are being denied vital care because overstretched nursing staff spend too much time filling in forms and doing unnecessary paperwork, it is claimed.

Britain’s nurses spend an estimated 2.5 million hours a week on “non-essential” paperwork and clerical tasks, according to poll results released today.

Time taken away from patient care equates to more than an hour a day for every nurse in Britain, the Royal College of Nursing’s annual conference in Liverpool will be told.

The mountain of paperwork stopping nurses from doing the job they trained for has more than doubled in the past five years.

The survey of more than 6,000 nurses, by ICM, reveals that more than half (55 per cent) say the burden of non-essential administrative tasks has risen dramatically in the past two years.

Disturbingly, more than three-quarters (81 per cent) of nurses said that having to complete such paperwork prevents them from attending to patients.

Dr Peter Carter, head of the RCN, said: “These figures prove what a shocking amount of a nurse’s time is being wasted… Yes, some paperwork is essential and nurses will continue to do this, but patients want their nurses by their bedside, not ticking boxes.”

The Government says it is reviewing NHS bureaucracy.

The health minister Dan Poulter said: “Patients, not paperwork, must be our NHS’s priority.”

He said plans to cut red tape in the NHS will save some 26,000 staff days, “and we are looking at how to reduce bureaucracy even further. We are investing £140m in new technology and training so NHS nurses and midwives can spend as much time as possible with patients.”

Yet technology has actually made the situation worse, according to two-thirds of nurses surveyed – who say the use of IT has increased the time they spend on paperwork.

“When it takes a nurse double the amount of time to complete a paper form and then type it up on a computer, you know something has gone very wrong indeed,” said Dr Carter.

Pam Randall, 59, who works as a staff nurse at a rehabilitation hospital near Croydon, said: “We are stuck doing work on the computer when we should be out looking after the patients. The computer systems do not cover all the things that we have to write so some notes are on computer, some notes are on paper, and the two different sorts of notes rarely get put together.”

Years of government-imposed bureaucracy, endless Care Plans and health and safety assessments, along with a culture of fear over hospitals being sued have led to a massive increase in paperwork, she claims.

“I trained in the 1970s and there was nothing like the amount that we have to do now. New systems are being brought in all the time. The choice you have to make is between doing the paperwork during the shift and doing less direct care, or adding the time it takes to do the paperwork to the end of your day.”

Labour yesterday attacked the coalition over cuts to frontline NHS staff. The shadow health minister, Andrew Gwynne, said it has slashed thousands of nursing posts – more than 800 in the past month alone.

He accused the Government of “wasting billions on a chaotic reorganisation” and allowing a situation where “form-filling is taking nurses away from their patients for longer and longer.”

Source The Independent

Too busy for patients… nurses spend FIFTH of their time on paperwork

Nurses are being forced to spend more time on ‘tick-box’ paperwork and less with patients despite a Government pledge to crack down on unnecessary NHS bureaucracy.

The Royal College of Nursing says staff spend nearly a fifth of their working day filing, photocopying and ordering basic supplies because of a chronic lack of investment in administrative staff and the failure of expensive new IT systems to reduce their workload.

The scandal at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust has also forced nurses to record more information on basic care and treatment and to document how often they speak to patients.

This policy is seen as vital to improve care standards and the monitoring of patients, and is intended to help improve the reputation of nursing by forcing staff to talk to patients at least once an hour.

Dr Carter said a survey of more than 6,000 nurses revealed the amount of unnecessary paperwork – which excludes filling in patient notes – had doubled in the past five years alone and amounted to 2.5 million hours a week across the NHS.
 
He said half of those surveyed said the burden of such work had increased ‘dramatically’ in just two years.

Calling for ‘urgent action’, Dr Carter said: ‘These figures prove what a shocking amount of a nurse’s time is being wasted on unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy.

‘Yes, some paperwork is essential and nurses will continue to do this, but patients want their nurses by their bedside, not ticking boxes.’

Busy: the scandal at mid staffordshire nhs trust has also forced nurses to record more information on basic care and treatment and to document how often they speak to patients

The scandal at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust has also forced nurses to record more information on basic care and treatment and to document how often they speak to patients

A quarter of nurses surveyed said their workplace did not have a ward clerk or administrative assistant.

Two thirds said new computer systems had increased the amount of time they had to spend on paperwork and administration and a further quarter said the IT systems being used were not appropriate for the job.

Dr Carter added: ‘Technology was introduced into the NHS with the best intentions, but when it takes a nurse double the amount of time to complete a paper form and then type it up on a computer, you know something has gone very wrong indeed.

‘We need a smart, efficient and IT-savvy NHS, not a halfway house that actually impedes the work of staff and takes them away from patients.’

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said: ‘Since we have come into government we have already cut the amount of red tape in the NHS – which will save an estimated 26,000 staff days and allow frontline NHS staff  to spend more time looking after patients – and we are looking at how to reduce bureaucracy even further.’

Shadow Health Minister Andrew Gwynne said: ‘David Cameron is  cutting the NHS front line and wasting billions on a chaotic re-organisation, leaving hospitals to operate without enough staff. Now form- filling is taking nurses away from their patients for longer and longer.’

Source Mail Online

Scots nurses spending more time with patients

Nurses and other NHS staff in Scotland are spending thousands of extra hours with ­patients each year thanks to a scheme to help them work more efficiently, a report has said.

In wards which implemented the Releasing Time to Care (RTC) programme, time spent with patients – rather than on jobs such as administration, tracking down equipment or ordering supplies – increased by 64 per cent.

The report, seen by The Scotsman, found that Scotland is leading the world in rolling out the principles behind the initiative.

The RTC programme, led by Healthcare Improvement Scotland and NHS Education for Scotland, is now being trialled by teams involved in integrating health and social care systems to see if it can also help improve ­performance.

The initiative, adopted by health boards in 2009, involves staff receiving training to help identify where time could be saved doing tasks which keep them away from patients.

Examples of improvements include streamlining stock ordering methods to reduce paperwork, moving equipment to make it more accessible to staff when needed and creating “at a glance” patient records to make handovers between shifts easier.

The programme, originally developed by NHS Improving Quality, based within the NHS in England, also operates in 14 other countries worldwide.

Other examples included 2,311 hours a year saved at Annan Community Hospital in Dumfries and Galloway by improving shift handovers and introducing a system to provide all patient information in one place.

At the Lawson Community Hospital in Golspie, in NHS Highland, 4,247 nursing hours per year have been saved by making changes so mealtimes are less rushed and drugs are dispensed more ­efficiently.

Simple changes also helped make big differences to patients, the report found.

At Kirklandside Hospital, Kilmarnock, in NHS Ayrshire and Arran, a treatment room was refurbished with a new layout which reduced the time staff spent accessing equipment and allowed more patients to be treated at the same time.

Fiona Cook, from Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said the introduction of the RTC programme in Scotland was seen as cutting edge.

She added: “NHS Improving Quality has told us that no-one can rival Scotland in the passion and commitment of NHS staff to enthusiastically embrace the principals of Releasing Time to Care.

“Programmes like this have helped to enhance Scotland’s reputation as a world leader in patient care.”

Julie Main, from NHS Education for Scotland, added: “We’ve seen compelling examples that demonstrate a real difference in the quality of patient care.

“The success of the programme has provided a new and more efficient way of working in the NHS in Scotland – a process that now provides a better quality of direct care to patients.”

Programmes such as RTC are seen to be crucial as the NHS faces growing demand in the coming years due to the ageing population.

Recent weeks have seen concerns voiced by medical and nursing leaders that staff are already struggling with rising workloads.

Margaret Watt, chair of the Scotland Patients Association, said: “Anything that means staff have more time to care for patients is good.

“There is too much paperwork and we should be doing even more to make sure time is focused dealing with the most important people – the ­patients.”

Source The Scotsman

Red-tape nightmare, Emma Thompson’s foresight and NHS websites

Bureaucracy is the bane of modern living. It sometimes seems that form-filling and box-ticking has taken on a life of its own – and, of course, this has infiltrated the world of medicine.

The working hours of doctors and nurses are now dominated not by patients, but by pieces of paper.

Clinical staff interviewed for a Government review published last week said they spent up to 10 hours a week collecting or checking data, and that more than one third of the work was neither useful nor relevant to patient care.

The review from the NHS Confederation, which represents health service managers, blamed duplication and poor use of technology for staff wasting their time in this way.

Many will be shocked that so much time is spent on paperwork, rather than caring for the sick, but I’m amazed that it is apparently so little.

I frequently feel I am drowning in forms to be completed, statistics to be gathered and boxes to be ticked. I trained to be a doctor because I wanted to work with people, not complete forms that have no tangible, meaningful impact on the patient.

Every clinician I know feels the same.

I work in a hospital providing tertiary care to people with severe, complex mental health problems.

I will typically see patients for 30 minutes to an hour.

For every patient I see, I have at least one hour of paperwork to do.

Some of this has a clear benefit to the patient. I spend a long time, for example, writing detailed letters to GPs providing in-depth history and patient treatment plans.

But these letters are only a small part of it.

A manager once pulled me aside and explained that if I didn’t complete certain forms, the service wouldn’t get paid.

I have to “cluster” patients into diagnostic categories each time I see them to record any improvements, and fill out numerous repetitious forms about this.

That way, the hospital can demonstrate to GPs that their patients are getting better.

I also have to complete risk assessments, forms relating to confidentiality and information sharing, and consent to treatment.

In addition, everything related to the patient must now be documented formally on a computer database.

If something goes wrong, then legally I am exposed unless I have documented it.

Why has this situation developed?

If I think it’s bad for doctors, it’s even worse for nurses.

How have we got to the state where, according to the Royal College of Nursing, the amount of time nurses spend away from patients on non-essential paperwork has doubled, with 2.5 million hours lost a week?

Two things are underpinning this.

The first is that our increasingly litigious culture has resulted in defensive documentation.

After someone’s mobile phone was stolen from a ward I worked on, three separate forms were introduced for the nurses to complete, to ensure that the trust was not held responsible for personal items of high value.

Secondly, politicians must take some of the blame for the tsunami of paperwork.

The introduction of the market into the NHS has resulted in trusts having to provide extensive documentary evidence for all work undertaken, resulting in a cataclysmic proliferation of forms as funding bodies demand statistics.

Again, this has no demonstrable impact on patients’ welfare. In fact, it risks having the opposite effect – in the NHS Confederation report, they found managers were spending more time writing plans to improve services than actually making improvements.

There are no signs of this abating. The NHS reforms introduced in April this year promised to reduce bureaucracy, but, in reality, they have increased it with more competition and commissioning being introduced – requiring even more data.

Doctor and nurses would love to do more of what they’re trained for, but at the moment, our hands are tied up with red tape.

A website is no answer to staffing problems

Ministers have announced that minimum “safe” levels of staffing for wards will be calculated and made public, via a new website.

The plans were drawn up in light of the Mid Staffs scandal.

Now, as you sit on your hospital bed, cold, thirsty and in pain, you can check online to see that, yes, there aren’t enough nurses on duty that day. Big deal!

Politicians had an ideal opportunity to introduce legislation that would mandate trusts to provide adequate staffing levels, and instead they created – what? A website.

Until there is the threat of some punitive action being taken when staffing levels are not adequate, there is no incentive for trusts to ensure that this will always be achieved.

It is already widely accepted that the minimum staffing level for nurses on a ward is one nurse to eight patients.

What we needed was clear patient-to-nurse ratios brought in, and clear rules about the number of qualified versus unqualified or auxiliary staff to be used. What we got was a PR exercise that will achieve nothing.

Emma shows parents the way

All credit to Emma Thompson, who is tackling head-on the issue of children being exposed to graphic sexual content on mobile phones.

The actress decided to write her 13-year-old daughter a handbook on sex and relationships in an attempt to ensure that she was educated and empowered in this area.

I remember having the “birds and the bees” conversation with my parents only too well. Of course, I’d already heard it all from my best friend James, who’d heard it from his sister, who’d heard it from her friend.

Sure, it was a while before I realised that fellatio wasn’t a type of coffee, but I figured out the basics with the help of This Morning phone-ins.

But that was 20 years ago, and in a more innocent age. Now, children are exposed to a bewildering range of acts and proclivities that would be unimaginable to those who grew up just a decade ago. The only way to combat this is to do as Thompson has done.

After all, the only thing that’s worse than educating your children about sex is allowing the internet to do it.

Source The Telegraph