Atlantis Medical News

NHS Nurses replaced by Nursing Associates

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05 DEC 2017

At a time when most people believe that there is a need for more nurses on ward helping patients, one NHS Trusts has taken the bold step to replacing registered nurses with a nursing associate. This move was taken by the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital NHS Trust’s Board. A skill mix report was undertaken and the main outcome of this study is to alter the make-up of nurses operating in the organisation.

This move has been hailed as one of the clearest examples of the use of nursing associates being deployed instead of registered nurses. The Health Service Journal has reported on this move and offered insight into how this will impact on the service provided by the organisation. There have however been moves from the Trust to detail the support they have received from managers. The Trust has also stated they expect this move to enhance the level of care provided to their patients and that patient safety and wellbeing remains a top priority.

Some major changes were approved in October
The meeting on the 30th of October saw approval being granted for a drop in the number of full-time equivalent band 5 registered nurses. There is a decrease of 23.58 to a level of 507.85 while at the same time, there will be an increase in the number of band 4 roles in the organisation. This currently stands at six but will be moving up to a level of 30.52, and this is said to reflect the introduction of 24 nursing associates.

There were concerns over the use of these professionals with many people fearing that changes would lead to registered nurses being substituted by these professionals as opposed to being helped by them. However, the Trust undertakes an audit of the skill mix twice a year and they claimed that this change will help the Trust adapt to the increasing needs and requirements of a changing world.

The nursing associate role was never meant to be used as a substitute to nurses
When the nursing associate role was developed, there were clear remarks stating that it was not being devised to substitute the need for nurses. Many professionals have been pointing out that no replacement or substitution is taking place but you can see how many people affected by this situation will view it.

There is a need for transparency in the NHS and many people accept that there is a need to save money and work towards an efficient future for the organisation. However, most people would state that replacing nurses is a bad move because it is the skill, experience and expertise of these medical professionals that help to keep the organisation going.
At Atlantis Medical, we understand that this is a complicated issue and it is one that many people have an emotional attachment on. This is why there is a need for clarity and clear explanations on why decisions are being taken.



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