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“2020health is an important and thoughtful contributor to the health debate”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee


Press Release Francis report will shake the public’s faith in nurses

Ahead of the Francis report, the campaigning think tank 2020health is publishing a collection of essays on the future of nursing that pulls no punches.

'Too posh to wash? Reflections on the future of nursing' has contributions from a former nurse of the year, first president of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, International award winning Professor of Dementia, charities, educators, and members of the public with a foreward by the Staffordshire MP Jeremy Lefroy.

The publication’s solutions include:
• Families and friends to expect to be needed in hospital to care for relatives
• Transformation of attitudes in wider society and in nurse training for older people
• Registration and training accreditation for Healthcare Support Workers
• Halt to the denigration of the educated nurse – and expand the practical training

Gail Beer, Director of Operations, 2020health highlights that “The key problem is not that nurses today are too well educated, but they have not been provided with good, hands on clinical training. These are not mutually exclusive, and we need to provide a training programme which incorporates both.”

Since the advent of “Project 2000” in 1986, the ‘professionalisation’ of nursing has meant graduate nurses spend much of their training in an academic, rather than a practical hospital environment. Many have commented on how this ‘trains out of them’, much of the human instinct for caring. This does not seem right. A strong theme which came out of 2020health’s collection of articles, written by experts in the field as well as those on the front line, was that it is crucial that we do have well educated nurses today. People are living longer with multiple long term conditions and care is becoming more complex.

Further, as demands and pressure rises on the trained nurse, caring responsibilities are often handed over to healthcare assistants and support workers. 2020health’s findings call for an urgent rethink on the registration of Health Care Support Workers – we need to develop a nationally accredited training scheme for non-registered nurses.

Writers also demands an end to the paltry nurse training in elderly care and that caring for the elderly is no longer seen as drawing the short straw. In the 1980’s and the ‘geriatric wards’ were places where the nurses who were perceived not to be able to hack it in acute services were banished. The underestimation of the skills and values needed to work with this complex older cohort of patients with multiple co-morbidities, functional deficits, mental health needs in addition to their cancer, fracture, vascular surgery or myocardial infarction is palpable across services today.

This is accompanied by a call for the transformation of attitudes towards the elderly in the wider society, it highlights that families and friends must expect to be needed in hospitals and play an active role in their loved ones care.

An unsafe ward

An unsafe ward

The suggestion that relatives could help with basic nursing care is interesting and has been endorsed recently by the think-tank 2020health..

BBC Radio 5 Live

27.01.13 - Julia Manning is interviewed by Stephen Nolan on the future of nursing.

Families told to nurse patients

Sunday Express 27th January 2013

ITV Daybreak The Future of Nursing

The Future of Nursing

Julia Manning is interviewed by Lorraine Kelly and Aled Jones on the 'Future of Nursing' report. read on The Future of Nursing

BBC Radio Humberside

28.01.13 - Julia Manning is interview by Peter Levy on the future of nursing.

BBC Radio Stoke

29.01.13 - Gail beer is interviewed by Lee Thomas on the future of nursing