News bulletin 6 November

on 6 November

Welcome to the College of Nurses – News Update.
No. 177, Wednesday 6 November 2013 

From NZ media this week

Maori nursing programme defends its anti-smoking stance

The country's only Bachelor of Maori Nursing programme says the effects of smoking forms part of the curriculum for all its studies and it offers help to quit smoking.

West Coast patients benefit from cancer nurse

West Coast cancer patients who travel to Christchurch for surgery and treatment have welcomed the support of a local cancer nurse coordinator who is streamlining their appointments and care.

Study focuses on nurse training for skin conditions in children

A pilot study conducted by New Zealand’s Massey University School of Nursing staff and regional public health specialists looks set to enhance nurses’ understanding of dealing with skin infection in children.

Graduate nurses face cuts

Deferring some graduate nurse places, cutting bed numbers, and possibly reducing medical staff in a bid to save money is a sad legacy for the outgoing Southern District Health Board, senior doctors' union southern representative Dr John Chambers says. 

Right to prescribe 'positive'
Tauranga patients could save time and money if a proposal to allow nurses to prescribe certain medications continues to gain momentum, a Nursing Council of New Zealand spokeswoman says. 

Young Investigator Award For Waikato Nurse
And the accolades just keep coming for Waikato doctor of nursing Deborah Harris and her work on the Sugar Babies study. 

Calls for Waitakere Coronary Care Unit to stay put
Nurses are taking a stand against plans to move the Waitakere Coronary Care Unit to North Shore Hospital. 

West Aucklanders are not second class citizens say nurses
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) believes there is no good reason for Waitemata DHB (WDHB) to move Waitakere Hospital’s Coronary Care Unit to North Shore Hospital. 

Most prison inmates have brain injuries
Brain-injured offenders are packing Kiwi prisons, leaving experts calling for better assessment and rehabilitation of those suffering head injuries. 

Extra funding for rural health a welcome surprise
The announcement that an extra $9 million will be injected into rural general practice over the next four years comes as a welcome surprise, says New Zealand Rural General Practice Network chairperson Dr Jo Scott-Jones.“I am surprised because we have bee 

New hospital ranking system criticised
Wairarapa hospital patients will soon be able to rate their stay when a new national ranking system is rolled out next year. 

Aged care

Resource kit to help aged gay care

A new resource kit to educate rest home workers about homophobia is getting the thumbs-up from the gay community.

Patients in agony 'dumped off lists'
Elderly patients living in agony awaiting joint replacements are being dumped off hospital waiting lists, with some re-mortgaging their homes to pay for surgery, a top orthopaedic surgeon says.

Mental health

Christchurch women stressed out

Christchurch women are feeling the stress, with one women's counselling centre shutting down their waiting list due to excess demand. 

Concerns over compulsory mental health care

Concerns are being raised over the number of mental health patients placed under compulsory treatment.

Public health
Concern at pregnant women smokingMothers in the MidCentral District Health Board region have been slated for smoking while pregnant, and continuing to use tobacco products after giving birth. 

Calls to cut tobacco retail outlets
Local councils have been urged to use bylaws to restrict tobacco sales in dairies and other retail outlets. 

Protecting children in cars from tobacco smoke: The inconsistent case of new mandatory child restraints while optional smoking persists
Today sees new rules to ensure children are safely secured in cars come into force, yet many remain exposed to hazardous second hand tobacco smoke (SHS) in vehicles. This blog ask why regulators are prepared to introduce regulation that protects children in the event of a car crash, but are unwilling to protect them from known toxins in tobacco smoke. All Australian States and the ACT prohibit smoking in cars with children present – why isn’t NZ, when the public supports this? 

One in 10 Kiwis now alcoholic
One in 10 New Zealanders could now be considered "alcoholic" according to new diagnostic criteria - but the majority of those with a drinking problem are unlikely to recognise it because the issue is so common. 

Alcohol laws must change, says prof

A UK drugs expert who once claimed ecstasy was "no more dangerous than horse riding" has praised New Zealand's "world-leading" stance on legal highs but criticised our lack of action on alcohol law reform.

Lower drink drive limit tipped to save lives
Change to 50mg from 80mg may mean fewer drinks for drivers but is expected to cut casualties and costs. 

Community approach needed to address Pacific health decline

Unless Pacific communities are consulted on health policy, Pacific health will continue to deteriorate, a Victoria University of Wellington academic warns.

Warning over sports supplement
New Zealanders have been urged not to take a sports supplement linked to dozens of cases of hepatitis - and one death - in the United States.

Condom card aims to cut teen pregnancy

Tennagers as young as 13 are being issued with 12-trip passes to safer sex, in an effort to drive down abortions and teenage pregnancies.

CDHB wary on free morning-after pill plan

Making the morning-after pill free to young Kiwi women is being considered to reduce teen pregnancies and abortions. 

Tax on sugary drinks would cut obesity rate

Thousands of obese and overweight people's health could be improved by the introduction of a tax on sugary drinks, new research suggests.

Social health

Urgent action on child poverty needed
Urgent steps are needed if New Zealand is to make any significant dent in child poverty, says the Office of the Children's Commissioner. 

Families forced to live in squalor

Whangarei families are being forced to share homes with other families, live in garages and in damp and mouldy houses, causing a raft of health problems in children.

'Feed the Kids' Bill is up for debate - lend your support

Here is an opportunity to have your say on an important kaupapa...the Mana Party 'Feed the Kids' bill will be debated in parliament on November 13th. Toi Tangata are urging the public to write to MPs encouraging them to support the bill going to select committee for public submissions.
If you would like information on sending an email to the MPs please contact Hereni Marshall at Toi Tangata.  ( )  Hereni has an example email, tips on writing your own letter, and the MP addresses.
Click here to read more about the Feed the Kids Bill, and visit the Food in Schools facebook page to lend your support. 

International media

Let nurse practitioners do their jobs

More than half of America's 48 million people without health insurance are expected to get coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act, most of them through the new health insurance exchanges that opened on Oct. 1. That will bring a significant increase in the demand for health care in a nation where 55 million people already live in areas that have a shortage of primary care providers.
Read more:,0,7522938.story#ixzz2iZ8htRYW 

Simulation, Team Training Improves Performance, Patient Safety
A study conducted by an inter-professional team found that simulation-based operating room team training of medical and nursing students resulted in more effective teamwork by improving attitudes, behaviors, interaction and overall performance leading to potential increased patient safety and better clinical outcomes. 

Mid-level health workers as effective as physicians
Countries facing severe shortages and poor distribution of health workers could benefit from training and deploying more mid-level health workers, such as midwives, nurses, medical assistants and surgical clinicians, according to a study published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization today. 

Study can be found here: 

To reduce patient falls, hospitals try alarms, more nurses.
This radio news segment reports on patient falls, including risk factors and prevention strategies. 

Home Visits Lessen Emergency Care for Infants

Home visits from a nurse are a proven but expensive way to help newborns get a good start in life. New research suggests that less costly home visiting programs can reach more families and still produce significant health care improvements. Infants in the study had 50 percent fewer emergency care episodes than other babies in the first year of life. 

The cost of cutting RN hours
In July, the ANMF joined Global Nurses United (GNU), a just-formed, international organisation aimed at ensuring high standards of universal healthcare.  The ANMF Federal Secretary states that “the GNU will provide us with a platform to coordinate the action we need to adopt in tackling issues common to nurses and midwives in all our respective countries, including cuts to healthcare services, and ensuring there’s the right nurse to patient ratios to deliver safe patient care.”

Telephone triage to free up paramedics

Ambulance Victoria will roll out its telephone triage referral service across all areas of regional Victoria from early next year. 

Articles of interest

Staffing and resource adequacy strongly related to RNs’ assessment of patient safety: a national study of RNs working in acute-care hospitals in Sweden
Introduction Although registered nurses (RNs) are central in patient care, we have not found prior research that specifically addresses how RNs assess the safety of patient care at their workplace and how factors in RNs’ work environment are related to their assessments. This study aims to address these issues. 

New paper: Progress on Obesity Prevention over 20 years in NZ and Australia

In a commentary paper published last week in the ‘Obesity Reviews’ journal, Professor Swinburn presents the lessons learned from more than 20 years of obesity prevention efforts in Australia and New Zealand. 

The economic benefits of increased levels of nursing care in the hospital setting
To assess the economic impact of increased nursing hours of care on health outcomes in adult teaching hospitals in Perth, Western Australia.Advancing technology and increased availability of treatment interventions are increasing demand for health care while the downturn in world economies has increased demand for greater efficiency. Nurse managers must balance nurse staffing to optimize care and provide efficiencies.

Online resources

"Healthy Conversations" lecture now available online
Last week Gravida: National Centre for Growth and Development, hosted a guest lecture by Dr Wendy Lawrence from the University of Southampton, explaining the design, roll out and results of the "Healthy Conversations" workforce skills training piloted in Southampton.Dr Lawrence is in New Zealand as an advisor to Gravida's new MOH-funded workforce development project.
The project is working towards the development of a curriculum that will be offered to those who care for pregnant women and young families. It will cover both the latest scientific evidence in maternal and infant nutrition and physical activity research, as well as a New Zealand-specific adaptation of the "Healthy Conversations" workforce skills training.
A video of Dr Lawrence's 45 minute lecture can now be viewed on Gravida's website by clicking here, or alternatively a short news summary has been posted here.

rom the Ministry of  Health 

Indicators for the Well Child / Tamariki Ora Quality Improvement Framework - September 2013
The Ministry of Health, in partnership with sector expert advisors, developed the Well Child/Tamariki Ora (WCTO) Quality Improvement Framework, drawing on New Zealand and international research.The Framework has three high-level aims, focusing on family/whānau experience, population health and best value for the health system resource and sets quality indicators to audit health system performance. 

Well Child / Tamariki Ora National Schedule 2013
The Schedule outlines the 12 core visits delivered as part of the Well / Child Tamariki Ora Programme to protect and improve health outcomes for New Zealand children, from birth to five years. 

Well Child / Tamariki Ora Programme Practitioner Handbook 2013

The Well Child / Tamariki Ora programme is a package of health services offered to all New Zealand families and whānau for children from birth to years years. The Handbook helps and supports all providers who deliver Well Child /Tamariki Ora services in accordance with the Well Child / Tamariki Oraschedule. 

Professional development

PUBLIC HEALTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME 2014 - Applications open on 11 November 2014
PHLP is a leadership programme designed for public health leaders in New Zealand. The programme is funded by the Ministry of Health and has been developed following extensive consultation with the sector.  PHLP builds leadership competencies identified as important for leaders in public health. The programme has been developed by Catapult (specialist leadership and organisational performance consultancy) and Quigley and Watts (public health specialists).  PHLP will allow participants to discover their leadership potential and equip them with practical and tested leadership tools and resources. The programme will generate immediate and lasting benefits for participants, those they lead, and for public health.  PHLP has a six-day leadership component delivered as three two-day sessions.  In 2014 one programme will be offered in Wellington and one in Auckland. - See more at: 

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 5 November 2013 
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