News bulletin 17 August 2016

on 17 August


Welcome to the College of Nurses Aotearoa News Update.
No. 313 17 August 2016

National news

Nurses assessing Westport patients due to lack of doctors
A shortage of doctors means nurses are assessing patients at one of the West Coast's largest medical practices.
Nurses at Westport's Buller Health Medical will assess patients and decide whether to call in a doctor.
Read more here

Midwives fear pay will put people off joining profession
Midwifery will struggle to remain a viable career option for young people unless pay increases, some midwives say.
Read more here

New Zealanders lose a million years of healthy life each year
We're living longer than ever - but many of those extra years are spent in pain, a report reveals.

Kiwi males are expected to live six years longer than a quarter-century ago, with 80 per cent of those years lived in good health. Females are living 4.5 years longer, and 74 per cent of those years are healthy.

Read more here

Aged care

Creating safe environments for older people
Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says there is now easier access to the latest and best approaches for building safe, secure, and stimulating care homes for people with dementia.
"Older people with dementia need close and continued contact with the real world. Things that enrich their lives such as plants and animals. At the same time they need to be monitored and protected all the time," Mr Lotu-Iiga say
Read more here

Hospital units suited to the elderly help prevent mental, physical declineOlder patients tend to be more susceptible to mental and physical deterioration in the hospital, even if they recover from the injury or illness that landed them there in the first place. However, hospital wards tailored to older patients' needs can help prevent such effects, according to NPR.
Read more here

Child and maternal health

Children with serious behavioural problems lack relief options
Children with complex behavioural issues in Nelson Marlborough are ending up in hospital when there is nowhere else for them to go.
Read more here

More NZ pacific women encouraged to give birth at homeA new short film about New Zealand families and their homebirth experiences aims to empower more Pacific women to give birth at home
Read more here


Canterbury, Southern DHBs account for bulk of NZ's 2015 health overspend

A report on the health sector by Auditor-General Lyn Provost has fingered Canterbury District Health Board (DHB) and Southern DHB as the main contributors to last year's deficit.

Read more here


NZers discover potential diabetes breakthrough

New Zealand researchers believe they've made a potentially significant breakthrough in the management and treatment of Type 2 diabetes.

Read more here

Can protein plus exercise improve type 2 diabetes?

Exercise has been shown to improve the health of people with type 2 diabetes. But the benefits of exercise vary greatly between people, meaning some benefit more than others. Now, researchers from Massey University’s School of Sport and Exercise believe they may have discovered why.
Read more here

Surgery effective for obese diabetes patients, study finds
Weight-loss surgery is an effective option for obese patients with type-2 diabetes, a New Zealand study has found.
In one of the first studies to look at the long-term effects of bariatric surgery in obese patients, Wellington Hospital endocrinologist Dr Richard Carroll reviewed the cases of 120 Kiwis who had bariatric surgery at least five years ago.
Read more here

Sunday feature on obesity and type 2 diabetes – In the News
TVNZ’s Sunday programme turned the floodlights on obesity this weekend, with a 15-minute segment on obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Read more here

Emergency services

Saving lives with Kiwi defibrillator locater

An app is making it easier for people to find life-saving defibrillators in their area.

The AED Locations site and app link to Google Maps so users can search their current location for the closest defibrillator.

Read more here

New resuscitation books “ideal for health professionals”

The New Zealand Resuscitation Council has today released two brand new resources to support its resuscitation training for health professionals.

Read more here

Ethical issues

More than 21,000 New Zealanders to have their say on euthanasia - MPs to hold roadshow
A petition to hold a parliamentary inquiry into euthanasia has pulled in a staggering 21,000 submissions from across New Zealand.
It's an issue more than 1800 submitters felt strongly enough about, that they also wanted to appear in front of Parliament's Health Select Committee to speak to MPs directly.
Read more here


Mental health

Episode 2 - Christchurch's mental health crisisFive years on from the earthquakes, many expected the mental health of the population to have recovered. Instead, mental illness statistics are continuing to climb in almost every measurable area. Christchurch Dilemmas asks how Canterbury can respond to its mental health crisis.
Read more here


One in five Bay four year olds overweight or obese

One in five Bay 4-year-olds are overweight, obese or extremely obese, a new report shows.
A Tauranga dietitian says the obesity rate, described as an epidemic by one health boss, is "out of control".
Read more here

Patient safety

Bureaucratic 'Kafkaesque nightmare' burning out hospital doctors - report

Half of New Zealand's public hospital specialists feel burned-out, potentially affecting patient care and increasing the risk of medical errors, a new report says.
The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) published a report on Friday by Dr Charlotte Chambers that showed a high level of burnout in hospital doctors.
Read more here

Primary health care

GP shortage expected to hit rural, poor communities hardest
General Practitioners (GPs) are warning an acute shortage of family doctors will hurt poorer areas and rural communities in the near future.
Read more here

GP shortage looming as nearly half have retirement in their sights
Patients could soon struggle to find a general practitioner as nearly half the current workforce plans to retire within the decade.
The pinch is already being felt as GPs are being asked to work beyond retirement age, and on Monday it was reported that a Porirua after-hours clinic is facing the possibility of overnight closure because not enough doctors can be found to staff it.
Read more here


Kiwis first to get new health diagnostic app

A new app aims to help people use their smartphone to diagnose their health problems.

Ada was first launched in New Zealand last month, with Kiwis the first in the world get access to the app.
The app, which is free for Apple devices, was released after several years of clinical research and input from more than 100 doctors.
Read more here

Tobacco, drugs and alcohol

Dunne launches Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder action plan
Associate Health Minister Hon Peter Dunne has launched an action plan today aimed at better supporting those affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), and reducing the numbers of babies born with this preventable condition.
Read more here

International news

California docs and hospitals tussle over role of nurse-midwives
A California bill that would allow certified nurse-midwives to practice independently is pitting the state’s doctors against its hospitals, even though both sides support the main goal of the legislation.
Read more here

ER overcrowding: Nurses may hold key to shorter stays, wait times
Emergency department overcrowding
 is an ongoing problem that plagues many hospitals, but organizations may be able to solve the problem by allowing nurses to treat patients with common conditions.

Read more here

Nurses battle secondary traumatic stress

Local medical professionals are speaking out about fighting their own traumatic experiences.

There is now a special team of medical professionals working together to cope with the tragic loss of their patients and other heart-wrenching experiences.

Read more here

When nurses can sleep soundly, so can hospital leaders

Hospitals are working to make it easier for patients to sleep
, but they can also improve outcomes by giving nurses on late shifts the chance to nap, argues a column onMedscape Medical News

Read more here

Articles of interest

The American Journal of Public Health
September 2016

Themed issue on the Nurses Health study
Open access:

Everyone in public health has heard of the first Nurses’ Health Study (NHS). This cohort of 121 700 nurses assembled in 1976 has generated a substantial part of what we know today about women’s health and the prevention of chronic diseases. A brilliant and competent team of investigators from Harvard University originated it 40 years ago and have conducted it since then, but as every epidemiologist knows, wonderful ideas do not necessarily translate into great studies. The NHS is the encounter of a wonderful idea (i.e., enrolling nurses in a large cohort study) and the historically outstanding response from nurses, who made the study theirs. Nurses joined, persisted, and used their unique and essential skills to make this cohort study an exemplar.
Read More:

From the Ministry of Health

Secure Dementia Care Home Design: Information Resource
This resource supports people involved with the development or major reconfiguration of secure dementia care homes. It aims to enhance the quality of life of people with dementia living in secure care homes by focusing on their experiences and perspectives.

It provides in-depth information and research for aged care providers, DHBs and anyone else planning and designing new builds or reconfiguring secure dementia care homes. The design principles are relevant to all people living with dementia in both non-secure and secure care homes. However, this resource is specifically designed for secure dementia care homes, rather than other (non-secure) residential aged care built environments.
The resource is based on information gathered from current research, consultation with key stakeholders and international guidelines.
Read more here

Funding to Māori health providers by District Health Boards (DHBs), 2010/11 to 2014/15
This publication summarises funding to Māori health providers by DHBs and information on Māori health providers from 2010/11 to 2014/15. DHBs are the primary funders of Māori health providers. Under legislation, the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000, DHBs have a responsibility to support Māori involvement in service delivery. Most DHBs demonstrate this through a wide range of service contracts to Māori health providers.

Highlights include:

DHBs’ funding to Māori health providers was $170 million in 2014/15, an increase of $23 million (or 15.6%) since 2010/11
although DHBs’ funding to Māori health providers is increasing, it remains a small percentage of DHBs’ Crown funding for health services, increasing from 1.46% in 2010/11 to 1.49% in 2014/15
fourteen DHBs increased their funding to Māori health providers during this time, while six DHBs decreased their funding to Māori health providers.
Read more here

The above information has been collated for the College of Nurses Aotearoa (NZ) Inc by Linda Stopforth, SNIPS and is provided on a weekly basis.  It is current as at Tuesday 16 August  2016

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