Stretched to breaking point
A review of 17 regional neonatal transport services has shown that they are ‘understaffed, under-resourced and part time’, but that these problems are not related to the dedication of the nurses and doctors who work in them.
Carried out by the charity Bliss, the survey of transportation services found shortfalls in every area, from staffing levels to response times. Four of the 17 services had no overnight teams, which means they had to rely on neighbouring services.
The NHS admits that services are under pressure due to increasing demand, but claims that performance compares favourably with that in other European countries.
Nurses want to do the best they can for patients and their families, but the current situation means that services that can deliver high quality care on the ground and in the air are being stretched to the limit, and that staff must spend their time trying to find solutions while they wait for ambulances.
A survey of transportation services found shortfalls in every area, from staffing levels to response times. Four had no overnight teams
Mental health is another area that has hit the headlines, with one in ten children aged five to 16 having a mental health disorder diagnosed, according to the charity Young Minds.
At the same time, funding of services, including child and adolescent mental health services, is being cut. Ever-resilient children’s nurses may find themselves caring for patients with mental health conditions on general wards.
One study presented to the annual Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health/Royal College of Nursing Children and Young People nursing conference in Liv erpool showed that nurses’ confidence improved by more than 30% after undertaking a bespoke training programme.
This month we also publish abstracts from presentations and posters submitted to the Paediatric Nursing Associations of Europe conference in Portugal, available as an online supplement