News bulletin 17 February 2016

on 17 February


Welcome to the College of Nurses Aotearoa News Update.
No. 288 17 February 2016


From NZ media this week

Report: New Zealand’s health workforce fit for the future
New Zealand has released the Health of the Health Workforce 2015 report, which outlines key facts and trends in the sector.


DHBs and PHOs

Hospital staff not representative of community, councillor says
New Zealand European people dominate the MidCentral District Health Board workforce, but the organisation is attempting to address what it calls a "complex issue".
With a total of 2681 employees working at the DHB, 24 hail from the Pacific Islands and 162 Maori were working at the DHB in September last year.

Alarm over $138 million DHB saving plan
Directive for hospitals to make cuts prompts claims patients could be exposed to tired and stressed staff

Jonathan Coleman, Annette King in numbers war as row over DHB funding heats up
The Health Minister has defended the Government's directive that District Health Boards save $138 million this year, pointing out it was a collective saving of one per cent.

Drugs, alcohol, smoking, addictions

Increase taxes on tobacco to improve health of New Zealanders, says Professor
The Government should continue to hike taxes on tobacco and raise them to at least 20 per cent a year, health professionals and advocacy groups have told Parliament.

Smokers to get texts from doctors in bid to help people quit
Smokers around the country are starting to receive texts from their doctors encouraging them to stamp out the habit.
As part of the Ministry of Health's target to provide smokers with better help to quit, doctors would be sending text messages to their enrolled patients and requesting a response to establish a record of smoking status and help to give up.

Mental health

Mental health patients are being locked up when they shouldn't be
Mental health services are supposed to avoid locking patients up in isolation - also known as seclusion. But it still happens.

Suicide prevention training planned for rural health workers
Rural health professionals are to get specialist training in suicide prevention as drops in dairy prices and a possible drought are expected to take a toll on farmers' mental health.

Canterbury's mental health funding to be cut
Canterbury's cash-strapped health authority may be forced to cut mental health services, despite evidence the region's youth are more distressed than ever before.
Funding information for the Canterbury District Health Board's (CDHB) upcoming financial year, obtained byStuff, shows the discrepancy between the region's mental health funding and the national average growing larger

Canterbury DHB Board has not made a decision to cut services
Canterbury DHB Board chair, Murray Cleverly, says the Board has not made a decision to cut mental health services.


New Zealanders are fat and in denial about it, says survey
Kiwis are dangerously porky and dangerously deluded about it, a new study has found.
While we might tout ourselves as a sports-mad nation, the reality is most of us are hopelessly inactive.

Patient safety

Elderly lives could be saved by new drug harm prediction system
Doctors could be able to electronically calculate the risk before medicines are prescribed to the elderly, saving lives, if a new system being tested in New Zealand proves successful.

MidCentral District Health Board addressing medication errors increase
The number of patients being prescribed and administered the wrong medicines at MidCentral District Health Board continues to increase.

Primary Health care

New immigrants and the health system
Professor Robin Gauld of the University of Otago discusses how the pressure can be taken off hospitals by educating immigrants about primary care.

Immigrants and primary healthcare
Professor Robin Gauld of the University of Otago answers some listener questions about new arrivals and how they use the health system.

Endless surge strains DHB
New immigrants to Auckland unfamiliar with the health system are turning up to hospitals when they should be going to doctors, MPs on the Health Committee heard yesterday.

Public health

Bronchiectasis in New Zealand – the Growing Problem That Goes Unnoticed
The Dominion Post’s recent cover story (9 February) pays tribute to the tragic passing of beautiful young toddler Ataahua, who died of bronchiectasis just shy of three years of age.
Bronchiectasis is a growing problem in New Zealand – between 2000 and 2013, hospitalisations for this disease increased by 30%. Deaths from bronchiectasis have doubled within in a decade, from 42 per year in 2000/01 to 84 in 2011. The disease affects an estimated 4,226 people across the country.

Respiratory disease which killed Wainuiomata infant a rising problem, says expert
The death of a Wainuiomata toddler highlights a growing problem of respiratory diseases in New Zealand children, a health expert says.

Students ask for stricter tenancy rules in the battle against cold and mould
Students battling "cold and mould" in poorly insulated and badly ventilated flats can suffer life-long health problems, a select committee has heard.
Both the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association (VUWSA) and the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations (NZUSA) made submissions on the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which aims to make homes warmer and drier.

From International media this week

Patients far more likely to die if nurses care for more than six, major study finds
New research finds patients looked after by nurses coping with more than 10 patients have death rates 20 per cent higher than those with a caseload of six

Minimum nurse numbers bill is passed into law
A bill ensuring hospitals in Wales have sufficient nurses on duty at all times has been passed by AMs.
Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams, who proposed the legislation, said Wales would be the first part of Europe with such a legal requirement.

Nurse practitioners fighting for independence
TULSA — Oklahoma's nurse practitioners are fighting for independence at the State Capitol.
They have asked the legislature to amend the Oklahoma Nurse Practice Act, to free them from doctor supervision.

Higher ratio of HCAs linked with increased mortality
New research into staffing levels within NHS hospitals has suggested a link between a higher proportion of healthcare assistants per patient and a rise in mortality.

Work and management

Peer coaching for nurse managers
Nursing Management:
February 2016 - Volume 47 - Issue 2 - p 52–54
Development of true peer review can provide the necessary substance to support and grow 21st century nursing leaders. However, there's often limited formal recognition and support for nurses who choose management. At Middlesex Hospital, our nursing leadership team launched an initiative to promote the recognition, assessment, and competency development of nurses in leadership positions. Our CNO propelled us into action by establishing a nursing management peer review taskforce.

The best strategies to engage millennial nurse leaders
Nurses entering practice today need to be trained on how to become the next generation of nurse leaders. In order for that to happen, there are time-tested principles/practices that need to be observed, but the way in which those are delivered must evolve to reflect how this new class of "millennial" nurses absorbs and processes information.

Articles of interest

A normative analysis of nursing knowledge
Renzo Zanotti* and Daniele Chiffi
Nursing Inquiry
Volume 23, Issue 1, pages 4–11, March 2016
This study addresses the question of normative analysis of the value-based aspects of nursing. In our perspective, values in science may be distinguished into (i) epistemic when related to the goals of truth and objectivity and (ii) non-epistemic when related to social, cultural or political aspects. Furthermore, values can be called constitutive when necessary for a scientific enterprise, or contextual when contingently associated with science. Analysis of the roles of the various forms of values and models of knowledge translation provides the ground to understand the specific role of values in nursing. A conceptual framework has been built to classify some of the classical perspectives on nursing knowledge and to examine the relationships between values and different forms of knowledge in nursing. It follows that adopting a normative perspective in the analysis of nursing knowledge provides key elements to identify its proper dimension.

An analysis of England's nursing policy on compassion and the 6Cs: the hidden presence of M. Simone Roach's model of caring
Ann Bradshaw*
Nursing Inquiry
Volume 23, Issue 1, pages 78–85, March 2016
In 2012, chief nursing officers (CNO) in England published a policy on compassion in response to serious criticisms of patients’ care. Because their objective is fundamentally to shape nursing, this study argues, following Popper, that the policy should be analysed. An appraisal tool, developed from Popper, Gadamer, Jauss and Thiselton, is the framework for this analysis. The CNO policy document identified six values and behaviours, termed ‘6Cs’, required by all nurses, midwives and care staff. The document contains no data, references or acknowledgements, but is similar to the 6Cs defined by the Canadian nursing nun, Sister M. Simone Roach, in her theory of caring published 30 years earlier. Roach considered caring and the components of it, including compassion, to be moral virtues, an inner motivation to care. This study suggests that without explicit reference to Roach's ideas, and her underlying theoretical base, the CNO requirement has the effect of turning virtues into commodities and a form of external control, described by Ritzer as a McDonaldized dehumanization. This study, which has international relevance beyond England and the UK, suggests that the CNO revise their policy by acknowledging Roach's 6Cs and openly discuss the implications of her work for their policy.

From the Ministry of Health

Pertussis Control Strategies 2015: A consistent approach for New Zealand
Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease characterised by a prolonged paroxysmal cough (whooping cough). The focus of pertussis immunisation and surveillance is to protect those most at risk from severe disease (those aged under one year). 
New Zealand experienced a major pertussis outbreak, peaking from August 2011 to December 2013, resulting in the hospitalisation of hundreds of infants aged under one year and the death of three unimmunised children, including two infants too young to be immunised.
In April 2015 the Ministry of Health held a workshop to bring together expertise and those with experience from this epidemic to discuss pertussis disease control strategies and a consistent approach for New Zealand.  Gains have been made in the infant primary immunisation series, but pertussis is still a major public health issue. The Ministry of Health wanted to assess the available data and strategies with the aim of minimising the impact of future outbreaks on those most vulnerable.
Key areas of focus were: the National Immunisation Schedule, maternal immunisation, improving immunisation coverage, surveillance, and communications for health professionals and the public.
In this publication we share the discussions held at this workshop.

Indicators for the Well Child/Tamariki Ora Quality Improvement Framework – September 2015
Published online: 04 February 2016
The Ministry of Health, in partnership with sector experts, developed the Well Child / Tamariki Ora Quality Improvement Framework, drawing on New Zealand and international research.
The Framework has three aims: focusing on family/whānau experience; population health and best value for the health system; and setting quality indicators to audit health system performance.
This is the fifth Well Child / Tamariki Ora quality indicators publication, and shows areas of excellence and areas for improvement. The quality indicators help support the Ministry of Health, DHBs and providers of Well Child / Tamariki Ora and related child health services to identify and prioritise areas for national and local quality improvement.

Health of the Health Workforce Report 2015
This Health of the Health Workforce Report 2015 is Health Workforce New Zealand's second update on the state of the health and disability workforce. It is a companion document to the Role of Health Workforce New Zealand, which provides background and contextual information.
The workforce is made up of a wide variety of occupational groups that will increasingly work together as models of care move out of hospitals and closer to home. The five main occupational groups discussed in this report are:
doctors and dentists – the medical workforce
allied health, science and technical workers
kaiāwhina (non-regulated) workers.
The 2014 report has had a significant impact across the health sector in raising understanding of the issues facing New Zealand’s health workforce and the various ways the sector and the Ministry of Health is addressing those issues.  The 2015 report contributes to the development of strategies and programmes to improve New Zealanders’ health and wellbeing.
Health Workforce New Zealand’s focus continues to be on strengthening the health and disability workforce by improving the recruitment, retention and distribution of health professionals.  It works across the sector and at a regional level to align workforce development with service demand.

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 16 February 2016.

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