Tag Archives: form filling

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