News bulletin 30 August

on 30 August

Welcome to the College of Nurses Aotearoa News Update.
No. 363 30 August 2017


Keeping patients and staff healthy in, and out, of hospital
Waitemata DHB has one of the highest rates of hand washing compliance in the country.
Read more here

Former defence force nurse takes on Stroke Foundation adviser role
Former NZ Defence Force squadron leader and new Stroke Foundation community adviser Judith Telford has taken on some "huge, scary challenges" during her life.
Read more here

Health workers subject to a rising number of abusive attacks at Waitemata DHB
Abusive incidents involving staff at Auckland's Waitemata District Health Board are on the rise.The DHB reported 169 health and safety incidents causing harm to staff, across its services in June, of which 36 were physical assaults.
Read more here

Nurses against privatised rebuild
Nurses have joined senior doctors in opposing a privatised rebuild of Dunedin Hospital.
Read more here


Nurse telephone triage assessment criticised in HDC report
Red-flag meningitis symptoms reported by a 20-year-old student should have led to better questioning by telephone triage nurses, says a Health and Disability Commissioner's report.
Read more here


Treating the loneliness epidemic: elderly people visiting doctors for social interaction
Elderly people are visiting doctors' practices not for illnesses or injuries, but because they are lonely.
A United Kingdom study, the Campaign to End Loneliness, shows one in 10 visits by older people to their GP are motivated by loneliness rather than physical malady.
Read more here


Bitter pill to swallow: potentially life-saving drugs remain unfunded for more than a decade
A breast cancer drug known to extend life for up to eight months has languished for more than 10 years on Pharmac's waiting list. It is one of nearly 100 drugs which have been positively recommended for funding but remain stuck behind red-tape, some up to 11 years. 
Read more here

Next step in Bowel Screening Programme rollout
Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman has announced that Homecare Medical have been selected as the coordination services provider for the National Bowel Screening Programme.
Read more here

The best screening test is the test that people do
OPINION: After much anticipation, the roll-out of the free National Bowel Screening Programme began last month. The programme, which follows the successful Waitemata Bowel Screening Pilot, offers screening to eligible men and women aged 60 to 74 every two years. Hutt Valley and Wairarapa District Health Boards are the first to join, with the programme to be established at all DHBs within the next three years. 
Read more here


Paul Hutchison: Next PM should pick up child health plan agreed by all parties
Dr Paul Hutchison, a former National MP, was chair of the health select committee. This article is endorsed by Auckland University professors Lesley McCowan (obstetrics and gynaecology) and Innes Asher (paediatrics, child and youth health) and Professor Gregor Coster, dean of health at Victoria University.
If in New Zealand we truly want all our children to achieve their full potential, and to break cycles of disadvantage and minimise child poverty, there is need for exceptional leadership and a combined will to invest in policies we already know about. Election 2017 provides that opportunity.
Read more here


Patient's 60-hour stay in Southland Hospital ED prompts investigation
A person's 60 hour stay in the Emergency Department of Southland Hospital, when no ward beds were available, has prompted management to launch an investigation.
Read more here

'The hospital is full': Sign warns of eight-hour waits at Auckland's Middlemore Hospital
A stretched Auckland hospital has denied that emergency patients have endured wait-times of up to eight hours, despite putting up warning signs to that effect.
Read more here

Waitemata DHB transforming way oxygen is prescribed
Waitemata DHB is the first in the country to transform the way oxygen is prescribed.
Its #O2TheFix: Swimming between the flags is an awareness campaign that encourages staff to consider appropriate levels when administering oxygen.
Read more here

Southern DHB to launch 'Hello my name is' campaign
The simple act of introducing yourself is the inspiration behind the ‘Hello my name is’ campaign, being launched by Southern DHB today, in an effort to better connect with patients.
Read more here


Disabled preschoolers waiting months for first Early Intervention Service appointment
Thousands of disabled preschoolers are waiting months for a first appointment with a specialist education service.
The Early Intervention Service (EIS) – which provides pyschologists, speech-language therapists and other specialists for physically or learning disabled children under 5 – has the longest wait time of any Ministry of Education service.
Read more here


Govt wants school of rural medicine by 2020
The government has invited universities to bid for funding to set up a new medical school for rural GPs.
Read more here


Election 2017: What our health system needs
How to best help the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders diagnosed with a mental illness has proven contentious and is arguably the biggest health issue ahead of this year's election.
Read more here


No health cuts' despite budget blowouts for DHBs around the country
Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman says "there will be no cuts to services" around the country despite sector sources predicting massive deficits for district health boards (DHBs) this financial year.
Read more here

'No way' Canterbury DHB frontline services will be cut - Coleman
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has guaranteed Canterbury District Health Board's frontline services will not be cut but insists it needs to tackle its finances.
Read more here

Report on Canterbury DHB finances out by $13 million
An independent review of the Canterbury District Health Board's (CDHB) finances underestimated this year's deficit by $13 million, but the error was ignored, the board's deputy chair says. 
Read more here

Coleman reveals $117m national DHB deficit
The Health Minister has admitted DHBs face a combined deficit of $117m for the year, higher than the under-$100m that had been expected.
Read more here

$117m deficit for Kiwi health boards more than double original forecast
District health board (DHB) debt has jumped further than expected, with health authorities now owing more than double what was expected for the last year.
Read more here


National suicide numbers rise three years in a row
The number of people taking their own lives in New Zealand is continuing to rise, with men and Maori featuring well above the national average.
Read more here

MHF calls for unified action to prevent suicide
The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) is devastated by the increase in provisional suicides released today.
The statistics show that 606 people died by suspected suicide in the 2016/2017 year, the third year in a row that the number of suspected suicides has increased.
Read more here

Pressure on clinical services impacting community providers - DHB
Mental health advocates in Christchurch say more distressed and suicidal people are coming to them for help because they can't get into specialist hospital services.
Read more here

More discussion needed around suicide prevention
Māori continue to have the highest suicide rate of all ethnic groups according to provisional suicide statistics released by the Chief Coroner.  
Māori psychologist Dr Pikihuia Pomare says there needs to be more discussion around preventative interventions. 
Read more here


Online help for clinicians working with language interpreters
A team of researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington has just launched a unique on-line eLearning module to provide realistic and practical guidance for clinicians working with spoken language interpreters in primary health care.
Read more here


NZ Aids Foundation say NZ could save millions by going HIV free
A pill to prevent the spread of Aids could save taxpayers more than $120 million, says the Aids Foundation, which is calling on politicians to promise funding.
Read more here


Waikato DHB investment in virtual health raises concerns
Waikato District Health Board is being urged to ditch its showpiece virtual health system as questions mount over costs. The health board rolled out its virtual health app in 2016, with the aim of giving people access to doctors via a smart phone, tablet, or computer.
Read more here


Canterbury DHB struggles to hire mental health staff from overseas
The Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) is struggling to solve an acute mental health staff shortage.An international recruitment campaign launched earlier this year has failed to fill any jobs, despite 82 applications received from the UK and Australia.
Read more here


Pupils 'put at risk by falling number of school nurses'
Royal College of Nursing calls on government to give councils money for fully-staffed school nursing service
Read more here

Advanced practice nurses key to improving SNF care, researchers say
Training an advanced practice nurse to lead a nursing home care team has shown promise for improving staff communication and the way facilities handle mobility, hydration and end-of-life care issues, a new study shows.
Read more here

Study: Every extra patient on a nurse's caseload increases mortality risk 7%
Low nurse staffing levels may cause higher patient mortality rates, according to a study published in theInternational Journal of Nursing Studies.
Read more here


Experiences of compassion fatigue in direct care nurses: a qualitative systematic review protocol
BI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports
July 2017, Volume :15 Number 7 , page 1805 - 1811 [Free]
Review question/objectives: : The objective of this qualitative systematic review is to examine available evidence on the experiences of direct care nurses of compassion fatigue (CF) within any nursing specialty or care setting. Specifically, this review will identify evidence on the following: 

* Direct care nurses' perceptions of factors that contribute to or mediate CF.
* Direct care nurses' ability to recognize CF and care for themselves when experiencing the phenomenon.
* Direct care nurses' experiences of strategies that have assisted them to cope with CF.
Read more here

Hazardous terrain and tranquil waters
Leadership development insights for nurse managers
The nursing landscape has changed dramatically in the past few decades. Today, the best and brightest clinical nurses are often promoted to nurse manager roles with little or no leadership preparation.1,2 There's also a gap in the literature on nurse manager leadership development. The literature does address several major themes, including the projected clinical nurse and nurse leader shortages, the lack of agreement on how to best develop nurse leaders, and the variety of resources and attention directed toward these issues.3-16
Read more here

Is the Counterweight Program a feasible and acceptable option for structured weight management delivered by practice nurses in Australia? A mixed-methods study
Australian Journal of Primary Health, 2017, 23, 348–363
Nurse-led weight management programs, like the Counterweight Program in the United Kingdom, may offer a way for Australian general practices to provide weight management support to adults who are overweight or obese. During Counterweight, nurses provide patients with six fortnightly education sessions andthree follow-up sessions to support weight maintenance. This study examined the feasibility, acceptability and perceived value of the Counterweight Program in the Australian primary care setting using a mixed-methods approach. Six practice nurses, from three general practices, were trained and subsidised to deliver the program. Of the 65 patients enrolled, 75% (n = 49) completed the six education sessions. General practitioners and practice nurses reported that the training and resource materials were useful, the program fitted into general practices with minimal disruption and the additional workload was manageable. Patients reported that the program created a sense of accountability and provided a safe space to learn about weight management. Overall, Counterweight was perceived as feasible, acceptable and valuable by Australian practice staff and patients. The key challenge for future implementation will be identifying adequate and sustainable funding. An application to publically fund Counterweight under the Medicare Benefits Schedule would require stronger evidence of effectiveness and costeffectiveness in Australia
Read more here


Developing accountable care systems: lessons from Canterbury (King’s Fund)
The health system in Canterbury, New Zealand, has undertaken a significant programme of transformation over the past decade. Our new report considers lessons that the NHS can learn as it continues its own journey of transformation.

In a related guest blog, Stephen Dunn, Chief Executive of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, shares his reflections on the report and considers how the lessons from Canterbury can offer hope for the NHS.
Read report 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 29 August  2017

If you have any feedback about content - what parts are most useful or what you would like added - please email

For more up to date news and information follow SNIPS at:

Facebook:  Snips Info

twitter: @SnipsInfo



Back to blog entries

Areas of Interest