THE WEEKEND HANDOVER 6th May
Five Things I Think
1. It’s time to end the mandatory wearing of surgical face masks within health and social care settings that are not covid outbreak areas. I visited an NHS admin office this week which was not attached to any clinical areas and not even on the same campus as any clinical services. I was surprised to see all staff working at their desks (more than adequately socially distanced) wearing these masks and looking miserable. One staff member told me that many staff have not returned to the office yet, and I’m not surprised if it meant wearing a mask for 8 hours whilst making phone calls and sending emails.
2. That the NMC’s language test for overseas nurses should not be ‘relaxed’ in order to facilitate an increase in the number of nurses that can be imported. Communication is one of NHS England’s ‘6 C’s of nursing, and a fundamental aspect of nursing care and patient safety in the UK. This is not the area to lower standards.
3. Health and social care staff of all ranks, professions, and roles deserve our continued support and gratitude.
4. Being a manager in health or social care at the minute is the hardest it has ever been.
5. The Nursing Associate role in England will make a significant contribution to patient care and safety, as well as enhance the nursing profession. But only if there are sufficient numbers of them and the deployment of them is done well.
The “wow he’s harsh” thought of the week
Organisations that charge employees for things such as parking, uniform, tea and coffee etc. either can’t afford to run a business, or shouldn’t be allowed to. My view is that ‘penny pinching’ tactics such as this sends the message to staff that “you’re lucky to have this job, and should be grateful”. It sends the very worst message about employer-employee relationships.
“But it’s always been like this, and we have to manage the budget.” Well the world is no longer flat so it’s probably time for a re-think!
The Business of Healthcare
I was doing some research this week into healthcare business acquisitions and I was surprised (although not shocked) to see how many healthcare businesses were either for sale, entering administration, or in liquidation. Many appeared to be family-run care homes or similar.