News bulletin 20 February

on 20 February

Welcome to the College of Nurses – News Update.
No. 141,  Wednesday 20 February 2013 

From NZ media this week 

YouTube video shows patient undergoing heart treatment

A new video lets the public see first-hand what a patient experiences during an innovative heart treatment. 

Government helping more patients with high health needs

Around 85,000 more people with high health needs are now receiving extra support through the Government's Care Plus programme compared to five years ago.
"This year we are investing $50 million in the Care Plus programme - more than double what was spent in 2007," says Health Minister Tony Ryall.  

Suicides expose failings in mental health service
A young woman killed herself after being refused help by mental health workers who said their shift was nearly over. 

Gore set for robots in patients' homes

Ground-breaking technology, including a possible world-first, will be used at a Southland healthcare centre when it opens next month. 

A true bill of health - the real costs

From conception to the first day at school, in theory it shouldn't cost anything to keep you and your children healthy. In theory. In reality hidden costs and surcharges undermine the promise of free health care. 

Government response to issues in aged care patronising

The Health Select Committee has released its report on the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) and Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota (SFWU) petition calling for proper funding of the aged care sector. 

Infant mortality at record low – Media release
The number of infant deaths and the infant mortality rate were at record lows in 2012, Statistics New Zealand said today. A total of 256 infant deaths (under one year of age) were registered in New Zealand during this period, down from 290 in 2011. 

Project reduces infections in intensive care units
Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew has welcomed a report linking a national quality and safety project to a reduction in blood stream infections. 

Day clinic saves 118 ward stays

Patients recovering from chemotherapy have been saved from 118 nights in hospital thanks to a new approach to their treatmen 

Midwife 'should have reported feeling unwell'

An expert witness in the trial of a Central South Island midwife facing a health practitioners disciplinary tribunal in Queenstown said regardless of any underlying health conditions, a midwife should tell other clinical staff if they felt unwell during a delivery. 

CPIT Nursing study on earthquake response highly commended
National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, AKO Aotearoa has highly commended a study of CPIT staff responses to the February 2011 earthquake. 

Prescription price rise hits vulnerable

Increased pharmacy fees are hitting vulnerable families hard, with some fearing people will die. 

Better care for Taranaki cancer patients

Taranaki cancer patients and their families will have better support thanks to the appointment of a dedicated cancer nurse who will coordinate and streamline patient care.  

DHB specific  

New NMDHB Chief Executive keen to 'get the balance right'
Nelson Marlborough District Health Board’s (NMDHB) new Chief Executive (CE) Chris Fleming is pleased to find strong partnerships in the district’s health sector and says the major challenge ahead is to maintain quality services within the funding available. 

Media release: Wairarapa and Hutt Valley DHBs forge closer relationship
Wairarapa and Hutt Valley DHBs are forging closer relationships as they begin a process of creating one executive team across the two DHBs. 

Waikato DHB Pushes for Partnership Across Disciplines

Nursing, midwifery and Allied Health graduates from across New Zealand started their professional careers with a huge welcome at Waikato District Health Board this morning 

Clinic closed over 'witchcraft' fears

Whanganui District Health Board canned its natural therapy clinic after senior doctors expressed concerns about "witchcraft" being practised at the hospital, leaked documents reveal. 

ED staff boosted, threat withdrawn
An ''intimidatory'' threat of disciplinary action against a Dunedin Hospital doctor has been dropped after months of negotiations with the Southern District Health Board, his union says 

Queenstown may lose child mental health unit

Queenstown is at risk of losing its only specialist service for children suffering from mental health and behavioural issues unless $97,000 can be found to cover operating costs until the end of the financial year. 

Social health 

Small Maori health group takes on lottery giant
A Waikato health organisation exposes a trend of targeting poor communities through Lotto, a relatively cheap,easily available and widely accessible form of gambling, despite attempts to discredit the information. 

Poor Kiwis left behind, says Salvation Army

The Government is not doing enough to reduce child poverty, create jobs or improve housing affordability, the Salvation Army says. 

Poverty hits home, children first victims

An increase in poverty-related illnesses and "Third World diseases" among Christchurch children is worrying health professionals and community workers. 

Toddlers sick in damp, mouldy home
A 22-month-old toddler living in a cold and damp Christchurch state house had to be taken to hospital three times in one year for bronchiolitis. 

Dragons to help address child health equity in New Zealand
It may not be trying to find investors for the latest app or the newest mousetrap, but Martin Marshall is convinced the Dragons’ Den format is just as useful for academics looking to ‘sell’ their ideas. 

Well Health supports calls for health services that everyone can access

Wellington-based Primary Health Organisation (PHO) Well Health supports UCAN’s calls for community-based publicly-funded health services that are focussed on providing health care to everyone who needs it, when they need it, where they need it. 

Public health 

Tobacco plain packaging to be introduced

The Government has confirmed it is to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products. 

Plain packaging must wait till wrangles pass

The Government has promised to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products but only if it can avoid lengthy legal battles. 

Progress on efforts to prevent rheumatic fever
The Government is stepping up its efforts to reduce rheumatic fever - and there are early signs of progress, says Health Minister Tony Ryall.  

Bay in frontline of war on feared disease
Hawke's Bay children on the rheumatic fever "at risk" list will be part of a national Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme, which will take in about 50,000 young people. 

Campaign to raise awareness about dementia

The Government is committed to ensuring people with dementia receive help sooner and has invested $250,000 in a national awareness campaign. 

Lazy living costs '$1 billion a year'

Laziness has become a "pandemic", with new research suggesting couch potatoes are costing New Zealand more than $1 billion a year. 

Voltaren risks too high, say researchers

Researchers from the UK and Canada say Voltaren should be pulled off the market because it raises the risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Start obesity fight by age 4: study

Curb weight problem in tots because trying to later may be ineffective, say researchers 

Free contraception for young to go

Free contraceptives could soon be taken away from young people in Hamilton, known as the chlamydia capital of the country until it was gazumped by Tauranga in 2011. 

Exercise still the best medicine – green prescriptions increase

The government wants more New Zealanders being physically active to help improve their health and that's why a record thirty six thousand people were issued with a Green Prescription for exercise, an increase of nearly ten thousand compared to 2008, says Health Minister Tony Ryall. 

Study backs ban on car smoking  
More than 100,000 New Zealand children a week are exposed to second-hand smoke in cars. 

International media 

Stirling University to lead UK's largest patient care study

The University of Stirling is to lead the UK's largest ever study into patient experiences and the delivery of frontline health care. 

Campaign to boost nurse numbers

There is hope concern about emergency department staffing levels at the Cobar and Bathurst hospitals will be addressed by a new Nurses Association campaign. 

Move to National Electronic Health Records Potentially Risky for LGBT Patients
Digitized health records may be a step forward for improving overall health care, but how will they safely and competently account for the medically and socially marginalized LGBT community? 

Battle brews in Minn. over hospital nurse staffing

The Associated PressST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota nurses are forging ahead with a call for state lawmakers to enact standards that dictate how hospitals staff their units.  

Articles of interest 

Nurses’ competence in genetics: a mixed method systematic review
Aim. To ascertain the extent to which nurses are achieving the core competencesin genetics appropriate for nursing practice.Background. There is an increasing focus on genetics in nursing, and relevantcore competences have been developed. However, it is unclear whether nurses areachieving these competences. 

Nurses as value analysis facilitators

The Value Analysis department is a relatively new division in many healthcare organizations. Its mission is twofold: to ensure that a facility's processes are of superior quality and that these processes are financially appropriate. Examples of value analysis projects include:* product-centered—prompted by quality or financial triggers, such as those related to I.V. tubing, spinal implants, or continuous renal replacement therapy machines,%20Issue%201 

The Legal and Ethical Implications of Social Media in the Emergency Department
Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal - Featured Journal
March 2013 
Volume 35  Number 1
Pages 53 - 56
Social media is a growing and popular means of communication. It is understandable that health care providers may not share identifying information on patients through these sources. Challenges arise when patients and family members wish to record the care provided in the emergency department. The health care provider may be faced with an ethical and possibly legal dilemma when social media is present in the emergency department. This article seeks to discuss the legal and ethical principles surrounding social media in the emergency department 

From the Editors: Achieving Prescriptive Authority for Clinical Nurse SpecialistsAdvanced Emergency Nursing Journal - Featured Journal
March 2013 
Volume 35  Number 1
Pages 1 - 2
Oregon's board of nursing certainly shows no fear in breaking new ground. Faced with the passage of state legislation, Oregon's board of nursing stepped up to the plate to deal with the nuts and bolts of adopting a model of prescriptive authority for the clinical nurse specialists. Oregon's new legislation, propelled by the APRN Consensus Model's provision for autonomous prescriptive privilege for all four APRN roles-clinical nurse specialist (CNS), nurse practitioner (NP), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), and nurse midwife (CNM), sets the stage for a new chapter in health care 

New publications 

Diversity and Cultural Competence in Health Care: A Systems Approach
Janice L. Dreachslin, M. Jean Gilbert, Beverly Malone
ISBN: 978-1-1180-6560-0
480 pages
December 2012
 Written by three nationally known scholars and experts, Diversity and Cultural Competence in Health Care: A Systems Approach is designed to provide upper division and graduate level health care students and professionals with a clear understanding of recent philosophies and processes undergirding diversity management, inclusion, and culturally competent care delivery as seen through the lens of current health care policy and practice. The textbook integrates strategic diversity management, self-reflective leadership and the personal change process, with culturally and linguistically appropriate care into a cohesive systems-oriented approach for health care professionals.  

Website of interest  


Minnesotta Hopsital Associations's board has exercised bold action to commit to patient safety. By championing the statewide adverse health events reporting system and commissioning multiple patient safety calls to action, it strongly demonstrates that quality and patient safety are a top priorityIn the more than a decade that MHA has been spearheading patient safety efforts, member hospitals have shown remarkable commitment to this effort. Over 90 percent of Minnesota hospitals participate in at least one of the statewide initiatives with an average of 100 hospitals participating per initiative Includes adverse events, patient handling, falls, emergency etc To learn more about MHA's patient safety and quality initiatives, and to access online resources click 


Primary Mental Health Care: Working Together for a better future 15th -16th March 2013, Canberra
Collaborative practice in primary care involves the communication, sharing, and problem solving between nurses, doctors and the multi-disciplinary team as peers. This pattern of practice also implies a shared responsibility and accountability for patient care.Partnership, team work, and cooperation are all essential to ensure effective collaboration. Nurses have long held a role of collaborator and coordinator within the multi-disciplinary team, reforms in primary health care will require us to strengthen and promote good collaborative practice.At this conference participants will be working together to explore the barriers and enablers to effective collaborative practice.  There will be presentations that look at therapeutic interventions, case studies of collaborations, primary mental health reforms and the role of the mental health nurse in the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program.Friday 15 and Saturday 16 March 2013, Rydges Lakeside Canberra 

Health Services and Policy Research Conference, 2-4 December, Wellington
Health Services Research Association of Australia and New Zealand (HSRAANZ) has announced its next biennial conference, 'Doing better with less: enhancing health system performance in difficult times', will be held in Wellington, New Zealand in December 2013. The call for abstracts will open in April. More details. 

New from the RCN 

Competences: Ophthalmic nursing: an integrated career and competence framework (PDF 721.0 KB)
Publication code: 004350
Publication date: 12 November 2012
ISBN: 978-1-908782-26-7
Abstract:This competence framework has been revised and updated by ophthalmic nurses who are keen to share their knowledge and expertise with other colleagues within the specialty. It should provide the busy ophthalmic nurse with a structured framework against which they can map their own competences, plus help integrate them into a professional portfolio to show growth and development (both personally and professionally).This competence framework will work across a variety of ophthalmic care settings. Novartis UK Limited provided an educational grant to support this publication, but had no influence over the content. Kindly sponsored by SD Healthcare Ltd. 

A shift in the right direction: RCN guidance (PDF 728.0 KB)
Publication code: 004 285
Publication date: 4 October 2012
ISBN: 978-1-908782-22-9
Abstract:The reality of 24-hour health care delivery means many health care workers are required to work shifts. The health and safety impacts of shift work are widely recognised. Long hours, fatigue and lack of rest breaks or time to recuperate between shifts are associated with an increased risk of errors. In addition, long-term exposure to shift work, particularly night shifts, has been associated with a whole range of health issues for workers ranging from gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular problems and an increased susceptibility to minor illnesses such as colds. This publication is primarily aimed at RCN safety representatives to assist them in their work with employers to protect members and patients from the negative impacts of shift working. It is also a useful resource for health care managers or specialist advisers responsible for managing shift systems or supporting the health, safety and wellbeing of health care workers. Ideally, this publication should be read in conjunction with the RCN’s Spinning plates, guidance on flexible working. There are two versions of A shift in the right direction available, full length version, publication code 004 285 and short version, publication code 004 286. 

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 Wednesday 20 February 2013
 If you have any feedback about content - what parts are most useful or what you would like added - please email 
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