Category Archives: nursing

Overloaded A&Es – Have we got this all wrong? Dr Brad Keogh

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Dr Brad Keogh

Accident and Emergency wait times seem to be constantly in the news. Less commonly but equally importantly are headlines that waiting lists for elective operations and procedures are on the rise. Although these topics hit our headlines regularly there is actually very little evidence and understanding behind the reasons for these changes in NHS services, and how the NHS can take positive action to cope with these issues.

From what we understand a lot of the currently held beliefs around the causes for pressure on NHS services come from very basic, non peer-reviewed, and potentially flawed analyses. It does not need too much explaining that making decisions based on these might be a bad idea.

Continue reading Overloaded A&Es – Have we got this all wrong? Dr Brad Keogh

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Respiratory Nurse team awarded for work on COPD

The respiratory nursing team in Southampton came away with two awards from the Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists (ARNS) conference in May.

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Emma Ray won best Poster Spoken Session. She said:

I was very pleased to have the opportunity to share the findings of our world COPD day event addressing smoking prevention in school children in Southampton at the ARNS conference.  It was the brilliant idea of our PPI champion Mark Stafford-Watson who sadly passed away last year and is truly missed by our team.

Mark emailed me after that school event to say:

“You don’t know how proud I am of the team who turned up yesterday and made the session so good, you very kindly said that it was my idea, but an idea is not much use unless someone does something with it, and I recognise the amount of effort you put in to make that idea worthwhile, thank-you so much”

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Mark made a true impact to the direction and value of all our respiratory projects and worked hard to be a brilliant advocate for patients.  The world COPD day event was a true reflection of his desire to improve the lives of people in Southampton and he was passionate to address preventing smoking uptake in children, which should be a key priority in the prevention of COPD and the impact it has on other lung conditions.

As our event last year was very positively received by the students and school staff alike, we are hoping to take this work forward and hold future events with secondary school students aimed at raising awareness of COPD and smoking prevention.

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Helen Kruk, Kate Gillett, and Emma Ray

Kate Lippiet, won best poster for her work too. She was delighted.

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Kate Lippiet with her poster

My PhD seeks to understand what people living with COPD and lung cancer find difficult about their treatment and what they find helps them with carrying out their treatment. I hope that my research will identify areas which healthcare professionals and managers can target to improve the experience of treatment for people living with COPD and lung cancer. I was pleased to present my PhD as a poster at the recent Association of Respiratory Nurses Specialist conference and to discover that my research findings resonated with the practical experience of clinicians who work with people living with respiratory disease. Winning best poster was a lovely bonus.

I would like to take this opportunity, like Emma, to emphasise the contribution of Mark Stafford Watson to my research. Mark practically helped the development of my research by reading and commenting on my study protocol and patient information literature. More importantly, he truly believed in the relevance of the research I am undertaking to the lives of people living with respiratory disease. I found his energy and enthusiasm of great help personally. He is much missed.

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Mark worked tirelessly to support respiratory research – seen here in 2016 testing new equipment

What does it mean to be a nurse? International Nurses Day

To mark International Nurses Day we asked the many researchers who are qualified nurses to answer these three questions:

  1. What nursing means to you? And is there a different view of it if you’re originally from another country?
  2. How you would encourage other nurses to progress and conduct research?
  3. What are the challenges facing the future of nursing that you can see?

Here’s what they said.

Professor Peter Griffiths
Professor of Health Services Research and the lead for CLAHRC research into Fundamental Care in Hospital

Professor Peter Griffiths

I remember being asked in my interview for nursing why I wasn’t applying to be a doctor. There’s no simple answer to ‘what nursing is’ or ‘what it means to me’ but the answer I gave then is probably as close as I’ll ever get.

I’m not that interested in disease but I am interested in people. Nursing is about supporting and helping people, often through their most difficult times. While it’s hard to distinguish this from many other caring professions the key (to me) is that the focus is on the person comes first and the rest follows.

Continue reading What does it mean to be a nurse? International Nurses Day

Why might nurses miss people’s ‘danger signs’ at night? – Dr Jo Hope

We know that nurses miss or delay taking patients’ vital signs (such as pulse, temperature and blood pressure) at night. Until now, no one knew why.

The NHS expects hospitals to use ‘Early Warning Scores’ to measure how ill someone is. These are based on the observation of ‘vital signs’ – measurements of things like pulse, temperature, blood pressure and breathing speed. The higher the score, the more often someone’s vital signs should be checked. This is so staff can spot the early danger signs of someone becoming very unwell, in time to help them.

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Your local hospital will probably have an ‘early warning protocol’ that says how often people should be checked according to their early warning score. At higher levels observations will need to be done in the middle of the night. Despite this, we know that nurses are much less likely to do the observations that are expected to be done at night.

Continue reading Why might nurses miss people’s ‘danger signs’ at night? – Dr Jo Hope

The movement behind saving our antibiotics

This week has been World Antibiotic Awareness Week to be followed tomorrow (Friday 18 November) by European Antibiotic Awareness Day. So what all the urgent action?

Well it’s well documented that resistance by bacteria to the existing supply of antibiotics is growing. The World Health Organisation has estimated that by 2050 deaths caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria could number 10 million people a year.

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This week NIHR CLAHRC Wessex hosted the Southampton Premiere of the award winning short film Catch, which tells the story of a family broken apart and facing difficult choices in a post antibiotic world.

Continue reading The movement behind saving our antibiotics

How to hold it together in times of crisis. Nursing calling – Dr Mari Carmen Portillo Associate Professor University of Southampton

Mari Carmen Portillo_NOV15Let me tell you a secret… I am proud of being a nurse but when I was 18 I wasn´t that sure. Finally, advised by friends and family I ended up starting the nursing degree at an excellent and powerful University in Spain…  so that was a fair trade for me… Ok… I will do nursing!

Like many other nurse students, at that time I faced several fundamental crises and I even thought of quitting nursing because I had never thought of myself as a nurse and sometimes others’ pain and disgrace gave me the chills.

Continue reading How to hold it together in times of crisis. Nursing calling – Dr Mari Carmen Portillo Associate Professor University of Southampton

The importance of the academic citizen in Health Services Research – Dr Gemma McKenna

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It was palpable with research geekery excitement while travelling to Nottingham for the 2017 Health Services Research UK Conference. I needed this, I thought, an opportunity for positivity, to talk enthusiastically about how we as researchers can help sustain the future of the NHS and wider health services. The conference didn’t disappoint.

We are all too aware of the popular rhetoric that consumes newsfeeds and social media channels, with headlines like ‘The NHS is in Crisis’ and ‘too many people are pitching up to A&E’. All doom and gloom. The conference was a perfect antidote to this. While there are no panaceas to these ongoing issues, my fellow health services researchers offered positivity and direction against the troubling backdrop of public service austerity and Brexit uncertainty.

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Should Wessex implement ReSPECT process? – The NIHR CLAHRC Wessex hosted event May 11, 2017

The event in Southampton attracted organisations* from across the Wessex region and beyond and a wide range of people including the public, paramedics, nursing staff, clinicians, managers and researchers.

Many stakeholders were represented bringing together 44 delegates, all there to examine and reflect on whether the ReSPECT approach to decision making for emergency care should be adopted.

Continue reading Should Wessex implement ReSPECT process? – The NIHR CLAHRC Wessex hosted event May 11, 2017

Prioritising the fundamentals of care with patients, professionals, carers and the public – Anya de Iongh

As PPI Champion for the Fundamentals of Care theme within NIHR CLAHRC Wessex, I’ve a great experience and opportunity to be an equal member of a team developing the research priorities for this area of work. Crucially, these weren’t priorities that we developed together in a closed room, but rather they were co-produced at several stages.

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Dementia care at meal times in acute hospitals – Naomi Gallant

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Almost a year on from my last post here and I’ve done a lot of work on my developing my research proposal – reading, learning, literature reviewing – but sadly not a lot has changed for people with dementia in acute hospitals. My desire to improve the quality of care, especially at meal times has certainly grown.

Continue reading Dementia care at meal times in acute hospitals – Naomi Gallant