News bulletin 5 October 2011

on 5 October

Welcome to the College of Nurses – News Update.
No. 74 – 5 October 2011 

From NZ media this week 

GPs and pharmacists united on evidence-based medicines
GPs and pharmacists agree that the good of the patient and evidence-based medicine should form the basis of all health care advice provided. 

Child abuse: Would you make the call?
Some people seem reluctant to report clear cases of abuse of children.

Maori children status inquiry begins
he terms of reference are to inquire into 1 The historical and current health, education, and welfare profiles of Maori children. This would take account of the transmission of life circumstances between generations, and how this impacts on Maori children 

Crown Entities Reform Bill introduced
The Crown Entities Reform Bill has been introduced to the House.This omnibus Bill provides for structural changes to the way the government is organised across the health and charitable sectors, including: 

Big increase in potentially fatal necrotising fasciitis disease
There has been a significant increase in necrotising fasciitis (NF) or ‘flesh-eating disease’ in New Zealand between 1990 and 2006 according to the first ever nation-wide assessment of the incidence of this disease.  

From international media sources 

overnment Fast Tracks Solutions for Nursing Shortage (Aus)

The Minister for Training and Skills, Senator Chris Evans, has announced a new initiative to alleviate the country's shortage of skilled workers, including nurses. The new National Workforce and Productivity Agency will open ahead of schedule to help address, amongst other labour shortages, Australia's critical nursing shortage. 

Struck off nurses 'still on wards' says Weir-Hughes (UK)
British hospital wards could face a “ghastly national disaster” because of the growing number of unregulated healthcare assistants, the Nursing and Midwifery Council said. 

Are Health Care Workers Who Decline Flu Shots Irresponsible? (USA)
More than a third of U.S. health care employees were not vaccinated last flu season. Research shows that the unvaccinated staff have a decent chance of getting sick--and passing that infection on to at-risk patients 

Why the nurses' strike isn't just a California problem (USA)
The troubles that plague California hospitals may have organizations elsewhere thanking their lucky stars that they aren't facing strikes (or a similar patient death due to a medical error attracting the media storm). But other hospitals would be wise to remember that, like lightning, strikes can strike anywhere. 

Warning letters to patients cut aggressive behaviour (UK)
More than 120 people have been warned about their behaviour towards hospital staff in Cardiff. 

Health ministers voice support for specialist nursing (UK)
Health ministers have thrown their support behind specialist nurses, in the face of concern about their falling numbers. 

RN staffing linked to safe practices adoption (USA)
A new study found more nurse-hours per patient and larger percentages of RNs on staff as factors in higher adoption levels of safe practices. 

Nurse consultants' impact 'still not evident' (UK)
There is still a lack of “robust” evidence on the impact of nurse consultants in UK healthcare, more than a decade after the role was introduced, according to Sheffield Hallam University researchers. 

Public health 

Older people’s nutrition at risk
Rising food costs could increase the risk of malnutrition in vulnerable older New Zealanders according to a New Zealand Nutrition Foundation Working Group. Julian Jensen, Chair of New Zealand Nutrition Foundation’s Committee for Healthy Ageing, believes the rising costs of food could have a significant impact on this sector of society whose members are generally on fixed, tightly budgeted incomes

Meningococcal vaccinations begin in Northland
Health workers have begun vaccinating school pupils in Northland in a bid to limit an outbreak of meningococcal disease. 

Call to fund meningococcal C vaccine
It may be time to publicly fund a vaccine against meningococcal C, an immunisation expert says. 

Bowel cancer deaths targetedA pilot programme to screen for bowel cancer starts this month with the hope it will lower the death toll of the widespread disease. 

Pradaxa deaths probed
A coronial investigation has been launched into the deaths of people taking the blood-thinning drug Pradaxa. 

Measles outbreak hits Wellington
A measles outbreak has spread to Wellington following the arrival of an infected passenger on a flight from Auckland. 

Election 2012 

Broadsides: Building a better health system

Labour's Jacinda Ardern and National's Nikki Kaye on what can be done to improve New Zealand's health system.

Computers and social networking 
Sarah Boseley’s global health blog (UK)

Wall Street Journal blog on health and the business of health 

Fergus Walsh Medical correspondent - BBC
This is my take on the medical and health issues of the day, especially those involving research and ethics 

Articles of interest
Implications of the California Nurse Staffing Mandate for Other States
Linda H. Aiken, Douglas M. Sloane, Jeannie P. Cimiotti, Sean P. Clarke, Linda Flynn, Jean Ann Seago, Joanne Spetz and Herbert L. Smith 
Objectives. To determine whether nurse staffing in California hospitals, where state-mandated minimum nurse-to-patient ratios are in effect, differs from two states without legislation and whether those differences are associated with nurse and patient outcomes. 

Public Health System Responsiveness to Refugee Groups in New Zealand: Activation from the Bottom Up
Annette Mortensen
From 1987 onwards the New Zealand Government has offered resettlement places to the most vulnerable refugees in refugee camps. These include women at risk, those with medical conditions and disabilities, and those categorised by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) as having "poor integration potential"; for instance, those who are pre-literate, women-led households with large numbers of children and long-stayers in refugee camps. The changes to refugee resettlement policy have significantly increased the number, dependency and cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of the refugees settled since 1992. However, while specifically prioritising refugees with high health and social needs, New Zealand has not yet developed the institutional means to include diverse ethnic groups in policy, strategy and service planning. This article looks at the role of public institutions in New Zealand, in this case the public health system, in the integration of refugees. The study shows that, for refugee groups, the health sector has developed responses to local needs and demands in highly specific health care settings that are often poorly resourced. Of interest in the study are the interactions between the health practitioners and provider organisations advocating for better services for refugee groups, and the institutional responses to the issues raised by health providers. 

Nursing students' experiences in the UK
BMC Nursing 2011, 10:11
International doctoral nursing students in the UK do not always feel well integrated into their department's research environment and want more opportunities to network with their UK peers, suggesting doctoral programmes should encourage greater local-international student networking. 

The ward atmosphere important for the psychosocial work environment of nursing staff in psychiatric in-patient care
The nursing staff working in psychiatric care have a demanding work situation, which may be reflected in how they view their psychosocial work environment and the ward atmosphere. The aims of the present study were to investigate in what way different aspects of the ward atmosphere were related to the psychosocial work environment, as perceived by nursing staff working in psychiatric in-patient care, and possible differences between nurses and nurse assistants.

Submissions now being invited
Inquiry into the determinants of wellbeing for Maori children
Public submissions are now being invited on the Inquiry into the determinants of wellbeing for Maori children. You can make your submission online - scroll to the bottom of this page  

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 4 October 201.  If you have any feedback about content - what parts are most useful or what you would like added - please email

Back to blog entries

Areas of Interest