Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Nurses spend more time doing paperwork than looking after patients

Some nurses are spending more than half their time doing paperwork instead of looking after patients, according to new figures.

Statistics from one group of hospitals show senior sisters and charge nurses – who oversee all the patients and staff on a ward – spend as little as 44 per cent of their time with patients.

Managers at Cambridge University NHS Trust have handed senior sisters and charge nurses new contracts to ensure they spend at least 80 per cent of their time to caring for patients.

Chief nurse Karen Castille said: “The trust is piloting a scheme to free up sisters’ and charge nurses' time and trying to measure the impact of this.”

She told the Nursing Standard magazine the hospitals would be trying out the new contracts until the end of the year.

It comes amid growing concerns that nursing staff are being increasingly swamped by bureaucracy and target-chasing.

Dr Peter Carter, General Secretary of the RCN said: “Nurses enter the profession because they want to care for patients, and so measures that increase the amount of time they spend with patients are a good thing.

"However, it is often problems with resourcing that reduce the amount of time nurses spend with patients.

“It is vital that wards are sufficiently resourced so nurses can provide patients with the level of care they want and deserve.”


The Royal College of Nursing has repeatedly warned that nurses are being forced to spend too much time on paperwork.

Source: The Telegraph

3 comments:

mizrachfaith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nurse Anne said...

Right but in order to get my patient the drugs, diagnostic tests, equipment, doctors, etc etc etc that they need I have to fill in paperwork. If I just ditch the paperwork for your cardiac drugs and screw about hand holding and toileting you will die. I usually have at least 15 patients to do all this paperwork for. And what I am describing above constitutes only about 5% of the paperwork.

The paperwork that we can ditch without harming patients we do ditch.

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