Birmingham midwife Alison Byrne runs a clinic for women affected by FGM. It provides help with the physical and psychological legacy of FGM and raises awareness about it. All nurses and midwives should routinely ask women if they have been cut, says Ms Byrne.
New guidance from NICE recommends that employees’ health and wellbeing should be a core priority for senior managers. Occupational health nurses on building sites and oil rigs are encouraging the mainly male staff to take up healthier diets and exercise and quit smoking.
A new book tells the story of former Yorkshire pit nurse Joan Hart, who earned the respect of miners by going underground to witness their working conditions and treat the injured. There were sad times, such as the miners’ strike of 1984-5, but she loved her job.
Violence perpetrated by patients against nurses can have devastating effects, and leads to high staff sickness rates. Recent NICE guidance recommends staff training to spot the triggers of violence. Structured risk assessment can reduce the risks but must be supported by employers.
The health benefits of physical activity in managing and preventing chronic conditions have been highlighted in a recent Health Select Committee report. Awareness among healthcare professionals is low, but nurse-led projects are popular and effective, with one project ‘transforming’ cancer survivors’ lives.
In his report of the Shape of Caring review, Lord Willis proposes a flexible model of nurse education based on two years of generic training followed by specialisation. Critics claim moving away from the branch system risks diminishing nursing expertise in certain areas. The issue will be debated at RCN Congress.
Salford Health Matters, a social enterprise providing primary care to 15,000 patients, has been rated ‘outstanding’ by the CQC. Its excellence is rooted in the value it places on its nurses, its willingness to listen to staff and patients, and openness to innovation.