News bulletin 9 December

on 9 December

Welcome to the College of Nurses Aotearoa News Update.

No. 524, Wednesday 9 December 2020 

Weekly news round-up of nursing and health information in New Zealand and internationally


Another crop of nursing graduates

NorthTec's latest cohort of nursing students was farewelled last week, at the end of a difficult year. They were welcomed to the whakawatea on Te Puna o Te Mātauranga Marae by NorthTec acting chief executive Jon Smith and senior nursing teacher Linda Christian for an emotional ceremony featuring tears and laughter, kapa haka and waiata, as they addressed the assembly of whānau, friends and NorthTec staff.


Rural health advocate recognised

South Canterbury-based nurse practitioner Tania Kemp has been recognised for her contribution to rural health in that region.


Wellington nurses assaulted, threatened to and from cars - nurses union

Nurses at Wellington Regional Hospital have been assaulted and threatened to and from their cars, while others are arriving hours before their shift in order to find a park, the New Zealand Nurses Organisation says.


NZNO Chief Executive Memo Musa to resign

The Board of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) regrets to announce the resignation of NZNO Chief Executive Memo Musa.

NZNO President Heather Symes said Mr Musa, who took up the Chief Executive role in May 2013, has provided much needed stability to NZNO over the time of his tenure.


Wellington nurses assaulted, threatened to and from cars - staff

Nurses at Wellington Regional Hospital have been assaulted and threatened to and from their cars, while others are arriving hours before their shift in order to find a park, nurses have said.


Nurse shortage poses problems at Wakari

A shortage of registered nurses is posing issues for management of difficult patients at Wakari Hospital.


Whakatāne Hospital staff reflect on Whakaari/White Island eruption

in the days that followed, including off-duty doctors and nurses who ... Duty nurse manager David Henderson spoke of the moment hospital staff ...


Award acknowledges lifetime of services to midwifery

Judi Murphy was taken by surprise when honoured with the Lifetime Services to Midwifery Award at the 2020 NAMOT (Nurses and Midwives of Tairawhiti) Achievement Awards.


Govt should take on board new study on stress and fertility - expert

The government should take on board findings of a New Zealand fertility study, so that politicians better understand the stressors young Kiwis are loaded with, a neuroendocrinologist says.


Covid-19: 300 fewer people died during lockdown, despite less access to healthcare - Ministry of Health

Three hundred fewer people died during the Covid-19 lockdown compared to recent years, even as thousands of patient appointments were cancelled and GPs closed their doors to all but the most urgent cases.


Northland hospitals overflowing: Aucklanders, growth, lack of GPs blamed

There was a flood of Aucklanders into Northland in August, when Auckland ... Up to 20 more GPs and 40 nurse practitioners are needed in the area, 


Celebrating Matariki holiday between June and October could ease pressure on hospitals, study finds

In order to ease pressure on hospitals, a Matariki public holiday should fall between June 10 and October 7, a new study has found.

The study, published in the BMJ Epidemiology and Community Health Journal, analysed 25 years​ of hospital admission data. It looked at the number of acute and arranged admissions around Anzac Day – April 23 to May 27 from 1988 to 2013 – and compared holiday years (when the holiday fell between Monday and Friday) to non-holiday years (Saturday and Sunday).



Hiring foreign nurses does not hurt US nursing jobs, study shows

An aging U.S. population is rapidly increasing the demand for nursing care. The number of U.S. citizens aged 65 and over is expected to almost double from 43.1 million in 2012 to 87.5 million by 2050, while the workforce is shrinking. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the need for health care professionals.


Need a covid-19 nurse? That'll be $8,000 a week

With virtually every part of the country experiencing a surge, the competition for the finite number of available nurses is becoming more intense.


On the front lines of COVID, nurses confront life and death

EL PASO – A fire engine wailed its siren up Cotton Avenue and disappeared behind the El Paso Long Term Acute Care hospital.

A man at the front desk held his hand up to a visitor: “Please wait outside. A COVID patient is being transferred.”



Bowel cancer screening programme pushing symptomatic patients to back of the queue - specialists

People with bowel cancer symptoms are being pushed to the back of the queue for colonoscopies due to government underfunding of the bowel screening programme, two public health specialists say.


Groundbreaking Waikato Hospital cancer treatment offers new options

A pioneering radiation treatment has been used to treat kidney cancer for the first time in New Zealand by a team at Waikato Hospital, opening new possibilities for some patients. 


Auckland DHB signs up to National Bowel Screening Programme

Auckland DHB has become the latest to join the National Bowel Screening Programme.



 COVID-19 patients most infectious 2 days before, 5 days after symptoms emerge, analysis finds

SARS-CoV-2 viral load tends to peak during the first week of illness, making COVID-19 patients most infectious two days before symptom onset until about five days after, according to a recent study published in The Lancet


Covid-19: Public support for broader mask mandate

A new poll has found 75 per cent of New Zealanders would support a mask mandate in public places as health experts say the current requirements don't go far enough, Marc Daalder reports


Trial of Bluetooth contact tracing cards kicks off at MIQ facility in Wellington

Staff and international arrivals who are in managed isolation at the Bay Plaza Hotel in Wellington will be invited to wear Bluetooth wireless contact tracing cards from Monday.


Covid-19 update for 7 December: Case reports go to four days a week

There is one new case of Covid-19 in New Zealand's managed isolation and quarantine facilities today, as the Ministry of Health announces a move to reduce its reporting frequency.


Covid-19: Ultra-cold freezers en route to NZ ahead of Pfizer vaccine roll-out

The Ministry of Health has bought nine ultra-cold freezers to store the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine once it lands in New Zealand.



Drastic savings plan proposed for Canterbury health board now in doubt

massive cost-cutting plan for the Canterbury health board appears to have been largely abandoned just four months after being approved, Stuff understands.


Concerns raised for medical staff under 'extreme pressure'

Southern medical staff are dealing with extreme pressure and fatigue, which poses a possible risk to patient safety, the health board boss says.


Shortage of hospital beds causes surgeries to be cancelled in Southland

Southland patients are having their surgeries cancelled or postponed, sometimes multiple times because there’s a shortage of beds at Southland and Dunedin hospitals.


Southland Hospital reporting bed shortages, but at least 10 are not being used

The Southern DHB is cancelling surgeries because of bed shortages, but there are 10 to 12 beds at Southland Hospital that are not being used.


Hutt Hospital in 'crisis' with two in five babies born via caesarean, board member says

Two in five babies at Hutt Hospital are born via caesarean section, one of the highest rates in the country, prompting a board member to say its maternity service is in a “crisis” while its chief executive says she too is concerned.



Scholarships hoped to boost Pasifika numbers in health sector

New Zealand's Associate Minister of Health hopes his ministry's scholarships can help address Pacific underrepresentation in the health sector.



Māori and Pasifika 'definitely disadvantaged' over BMI fertility treatment requirement

Māori and Pacific women are disproportionately being denied the chance to have a family, with the system used to determined access to free fertility treatment labelled “unfounded and unfair”. Read more



Cutting-Edge Breast Cancer Research Among National Grants Awarded To Canterbury And West Coast DHBs

Canterbury and West Coast DHBs have attracted a broad array of research funding to benefit local and New Zealand health care in new research funding from the Health Research Council.


Rheumatic Heart Disease Patients Among Those To Benefit From New Research Funding For DHBs

An all-new approach for the early detection of rheumatic heart disease will be developed and tested as part of a suite of new research to be carried out by some of New Zealand’s district health boards (DHBs).



New Zealand Online Therapy Gets 20,000 Registrations In COVID Year

New Zealanders are turning to online therapy in droves, with local non-profit Just a Thought—which provides free web-based CBT courses—reaching 20,000 registrations in just over a year. Read more



New Strategy Illustrates DHBs’ Commitment To Pacific Health

The launch of a new strategic plan has paved the way to improve health outcomes and achieve health equity for Pacific peoples across the Greater Wellington region.


Policy and science key to creating positive change - MPP

After seeing the health demands of the Pacific community in New Zealand far outweighed the number of doctors and medical practitioners required to meet their needs, Yeomans Vaamainuu decided to do something about it.



COVID-19 disruptions to hospital and general practice activity

This publication uses national, regional, ethnicity and disability data to identify the extent to which COVID-19 and the lockdown had a disproportionate impact on certain communities in relation to health service delivery and access to health care services.



Public submissions are now being invited on the following Bills

07 Dec 2020 - Child Support Amendment Bill

07 Dec 2020 - Oranga Tamariki (Youth Justice Demerit Points) Amendment Bill

07 Dec 2020 - Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Bill

03 Dec 2020 - Land Transport (Drug Driving) Amendment Bill

01 Dec 2020 - Arms (Firearms Prohibition Orders) Amendment Bill (No 2)

01 Dec 2020 - Rights for Victims of Insane Offenders Bill


Fair Care for Trans and Non-binary People

This resource is designed to help nursing staff respond to the needs of service users who identify as trans or non-binary, in both the NHS and independent sectors.

Child Poverty Monitor: Technical Report | Office of the Children’s Commissioner
This eighth annual Child Poverty Monitor updates progress made toward a society where every child is valued and enjoys their right to thrive and achieve their potential.5,6 This report uses a variety of data sources to measure indicators and impacts of poverty for households with children. Data in this report mostly precede the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of the actions taken by the New Zealand Government to eliminate community transmission of the novel coronavirus. In addition to monitoring how Aotearoa meets its commitments to uphold the rights of every child and young person in non-pandemic contexts, having pre-COVID-19 information on the status of poverty and wellbeing in Aotearoa will assist with ascertaining the impact that the pandemic has had on the lives of all people and especially on the lives of our most vulnerable.7
The report is grouped into three chapters:
Ending child poverty: The first group of indicators reflects indicators of progress toward a reduction in the number and proportion of children living in households that experience income poverty and material hardship. Growing up in a safe and healthy environment:
The second group of indicators tracks progress toward goals to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing, ensuring access to affordable, healthy homes, ensuring access to sufficient and nutritious food, promoting nurture and protection within families and wider society as well as providing equitable, high quality education for all. Resources to thrive:
The final section discusses the broader context in which families and whānau access resources to enable children to thrive.
The discussion includes labour market circumstances, and information about children who are included in households who receive financial assistance from the State in the form of income-replacing benefits, hardship and other forms of assistance, and young people receiving financial assistance.



Nursing workload, nurse staffing methodologies and tools: A systematic scoping review and discussion

International Journal of Nursing Studies

Volume 103, March 2020, 103487

The importance of nurse staffing levels in acute hospital wards is widely recognised but evidence for tools to determine staffing requirements although extensive, has been reported to be weak. Building on a review of reviews undertaken in 2014, we set out to give an overview of the major approaches to assessing nurse staffing requirements and identify recent evidence in order to address unanswered questions including the accuracy and effectiveness of tools. Read more


Nursing Standard podcast: Good Samaritan acts and the off-duty nurse

Senior lecturer Carolyn Crouchman talks about her research into the duty of care and the implications for nurses


The article below is not freely available but may be accessed through databases and libraries to which readers have access


Effect of a 24/7 nursing presence in a police watch house on police presentations to the emergency department

Julia Crilly, Cathy Lincoln, Paul Scuffham … et al

Australian Health Review 44(6) 924-930

Objective People detained in police custody are a vulnerable population with complex health needs, sometimes requiring emergency care. This study evaluated the effect of a 24/7 nursing presence in a police watch house on police presentations to the emergency department (ED).


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 of 8 December  2020

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