News

Give exhausted nurses time out on top of their annual leave

Pandemic recovery plans need to take account of nurses’ health and well-being
nursing staff around a hospital nurses‘ station

Pandemic recovery plans need to take account of nurses health and well-being

Nurses need funded time out in addition to their annual leave so they can rest and recuperate from the impact of the pandemic, the RCN says.

The college is also calling for long-COVID to be recognised as an occupational disease a chronic ailment caused by exposure to workplace hazards or activities in nursing staff.

Nurses well-being and patient safety

In a new document setting out its key tests for moving forward from the pandemic , the RCN said it is increasingly concerned about the health and well-being of members and their ability to provide current services safely.

    Pandemic recovery plans need to take account of nurses’ health and well-being

    nursing staff around a hospital nurses‘ station
    Picture: Alamy

    Nurses need funded ‘time out’ in addition to their annual leave so they can rest and recuperate from the impact of the pandemic, the RCN says.

    The college is also calling for long-COVID to be recognised as an occupational disease – a chronic ailment caused by exposure to workplace hazards or activities – in nursing staff.

    Nurses’ well-being and patient safety

    In a new document setting out its key tests for moving forward from the pandemic, the RCN said it is ‘increasingly concerned’ about the health and well-being of members and their ability to provide current services safely.

    The college has outlined eight staff recovery and patient safety principles to guide the health service and employers in planning the return to ‘normal’ service delivery.

    The report comes as prime minister Boris Johnson was due to outline details of how lockdown is to be lifted in England.

    Pandemic recovery: steps for health services to take

    The RCN is calling for:

    • A return to pre-COVID staffing levels, particularly in intensive care where nurse staffing ratios have beeb diluted in the pandemic
    • Higher levels of personal protective equipment in all settings, specifically FFP3 face masks, as new strains of the virus emerge
    • Consideration and reduction where possible of elevated COVID-19 risk faced by black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) nursing staff must be as services return

    RELATED: Study of BAME populations’ COVID-19 risk

    • Rest and recuperation for staff, including funded time out in addition to annual leave
    • Occupational health services including ongoing counselling, bereavement and psychological trauma support

    RELATED: COVID-19 psychological distress is higher in nurses than their colleagues

    Exhaustion of nursing staff

    RCN chief executive Dame Donna Kinnair said: ‘Nursing staff are still telling me the pressure on hospitals and other services are as bad as at any point last year.

    ‘Exhausted staff must be supported to recover, and pressure must abate further before we can enjoy the normality everybody craves.’

    Take part in Nursing Standard’s well-being at work survey – deadline 28 February


    In other news

    Sign up to continue reading for FREE

    OR

    Subscribe for unlimited access

    Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

    • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
    • Monthly digital edition
    • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
    • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
    • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

    This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

    Jobs