2021 Shielding End Date in England and Wales Announced

Extremely vulnerable people who have been shielding can now come off as shielding is officially coming to an end from today March, 31st in both England and Wales according to News reports.

The change is coming due to the decline in the number of new cases and hospital admissions from Covid. Letters have been dispatched to affected people estimated to be about 4 million.

Who is considered clinically extremely vulnerable?

According to the NHS Website, clinically vulnerable people are people who have:

  • Have had an organ transplant
  • Are having chemotherapy or antibody treatment for cancer, including immunotherapy
  • Are having an intense course of radiotherapy (radical radiotherapy) for lung cancer
  • Are having targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system (such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors)
  • Have blood or bone marrow cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
  • Have had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the past 6 months, or are still taking immunosuppressant medicine
  • Have been told by a doctor you have a severe lung condition (such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma or severe COPD)
  • Have a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID or sickle cell)
  • Are taking medicine that makes you much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppressant medicine)
  • Have a serious heart condition and are pregnant
  • Have a problem with your spleen or your spleen has been removed (splenectomy)
  • Are an adult with Down’s syndrome
  • Are an adult who is having dialysis or has severe (stage 5) long-term kidney disease
  • Have been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of your needs

COVID Vaccine: Nurses Fault FG as Alleged Vaccine Sale Surfaces

The Federal Government on Thursday said it was satisfied with the turnout of Nigerians for COVID-19 vaccination as the number of vaccinated persons rose to 325,514.

The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuiab, who stated this in a text message to one of our correspondents, said the progress recorded was better than what government envisaged.

The NPHCDA boss said this as the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives said it was not carried along in the exercise.

Also on Thursday, as allegations of the sale of the vaccine surfaced in Lagos, the state government challenged anybody with proof of the illegal act to present it.

Recall that Shuaib on Wednesday accused Lagos State of jettisoning the vaccination guidelines of the NPHCDA.

In response to an enquiry by The PUNCH on Thursday, Shuaib wrote, “We have obtained information from Lagos State Honourable Commissioner of Health that they don’t have a parallel system. They explained that it’s the same district health immunisation system 2.”

Asked if he was satisfied with the turnout for the vaccination, he stated, ‘Yes I am. The progress is better than what we anticipated.”

We are not carried along, say nurses

But the National President of the NANNM, Mike Nnachi, in an interview with one of our correspondents, faulted the exercise.

He said he had thought that government would seek the association’s audience in the administration of the vaccine on nurses across the country.

He said, “The thing is that I thought the association would be involved to mobilise our people, but up till now, we have not heard anything.

“Even when it started, I thought the association would be approached. We are ever willing because we are part of government so but when such was not forthcoming, there was nothing I could do.”

When asked if the association was satisfied with the vaccination, Nnachi said, “I thought that we should have been involved because our members are frontline health workers. There is no way the vaccine can be given without a nurse. Everyone knows that it is our core area; administration of injection, but we cannot fight anybody because government is our own. We are part of government.”

E-registration mandatory – Lagos

On his part, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, in a statement on Thursday, urged residents of the state, who were qualified for the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination, to register at registration portal before visiting any of the 88 vaccination sites.

He stated, “We encourage all Lagosians hoping to be vaccinated according to the qualification criteria for phase one to strictly utilise the pre-registration portal provided by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and get a schedule vaccination appointment before visiting the vaccination site as scheduled.”

The commissioner explained that after a successful pre-registration, a vaccination ID would be generated by the portal with a confirmation text message and email sent to each enrollee.

“The generated pre-registration ID, confirmation text message and a valid means of identification are the guarantees that an eligible person who fits into phase one of vaccination would be attended to when he visits any of the 88 vaccination sites as scheduled, to get the COVID vaccine”, he said.

Lagos demands proof as residents decry vaccine sales at centres

Meanwhile, some Twitter users on Thursday alleged that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was being sold in Lagos.

A twitter user, @irizzzy alleged that the vaccine was being sold for N100,000, while @ulxma said she witnessed the vaccine being sold at Ikate Primary Health Centre.

@irizzzy wrote, “100k for vaccine? Nigeria is gone.”

Also, @ulxma, wrote, “I think the people who dragged that lady for saying that Nigerian health centres are selling the vaccine owe her a huge apology. I’m presently at a health centre in Ikate and people are coming with SUVs and having vaccine sold to them before our very eyes. I’m pissed!”

But the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, challenged anyone with the proof that the COVID-19 vaccine was being sold to come forward.

Omotoso, in an interview with one of our correspondents, also said it was not true that the state had a separate portal for the registration.

“Lagos is still leading other states in the vaccination drive. We have vaccinated over 88,000 people now. Many other states have yet to start. There are hitches here and there, but not the type that cannot be surmounted. Most of the problems we have come from the slowness of the server of the portal and the network issues. Such problems have been causing congestion at the vaccination centres.

“The people that are entitled to it are well spelt out; frontline workers, who could even be drivers of ambulances, doctors, nurses, laboratory attendants, policemen, journalists and the military people. People have said that foreigners are being given preferential treatment because they have been able to bribe officials. That is wrong. You can be a foreigner and be a frontline worker.

“Lagos has no portal apart from the one that the Federal Government has created and we are not ready to follow any other protocol apart from the one from the Federal Government. It could be a kind of misunderstanding that must have been sorted out now.

“Anybody with a proof of where COVID-19 vaccine is being sold in Lagos should bring the proof. I can assure the person that the Lagos State Government is going to punish whoever is involved. That was what they said about the Police Clinic in Falomo and we made an unscheduled visit to the place today (Thursday). We saw what was going on there and it was in order. The only problem they have is that they don’t have enough cards and people were complaining that they have been there for long.”

Also reacting to the allegation, the National President of NANNM, Nnachi, warned members of the association against involving in the illegal act.

He said “I am not aware of that. Government has said that it must not be sold. If anybody does that, that person is working against the government.”

The Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Adetunji Adenekan, said he was not aware that COVID-19 vaccine was being sold in the state.

He said, “The NMA Lagos is satisfied with the way the vaccination is being carried out in the state so far. What we are trying to do is to encourage all our members to go for the vaccination.

“An appreciable number of our members have been vaccinated, but we want more of them to go for the vaccination.

“Whatever hiccups that have been noticed are just mild administrative lapses and they are usually corrected immediately.”

Adenekan said a total of 33,672 health workers have been vaccinated so far in Lagos State.

Out of 325,514 Nigerians that took the vaccine as of Wednesday, 30,704 people were vaccinated in Ogun State, Bauchi, 30, 538, Kaduna, 24,745 and Jigawa, 22,265.

As of Tuesday, Nigeria had vaccinated 215,277 persons.

Credit: Lagos kicks, nurses fault FG as alleged vaccine sale surfaces (msn.com)

Obaseki Pledges Support for Catholic School of Nursing and Midwifery, Uzairue

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured that the state government will support the Catholic School of Nursing and Midwifery, Uzairue in Etsako-West Local Government Area, as part of commitment to strengthen the healthcare system in the state.

Obaseki gave the assurance at the Centenary Birthday Thanksgiving celebration of Msgr. Thomas Oleghe and 18th Canonical Erection Anniversary of the Catholic Diocese of Auchi.

He said: “It is not often to celebrate a centenarian in our society. Today, we are celebrating Msgr. Thomas Oleghe who is a centenarian and has contributed to the development of the community.

“We are celebrating the 18th year anniversary of this diocese, celebrating a centenarian and citizens in the state who have distinguished themselves in service to humanity and God.

Obaseki continued: “I thank the Bishop for the support given to our government and the work done to stabilize our government and state.

“I am excited and glad to see that the Catholic Church is supporting the state in strengthening the healthcare system by establishing its own school of Nursing and Midwifery. This is not your responsibility but that of the state, but in your own kindness and magnanimity as a church, you have played this role.

“I want to let you know that the state will support you and not shy away from its responsibility. Whatever is left to complete the hostel accommodation required for that school will now be taken over and completed by the state government. All I have asked of your Lordship, if possible, is to name the hostel after Msgr. Oleghe.”

The highpoint of the event was the investiture of three Papal Chamberlains, 23 Knights and Medalists.

Credit: Nigerian Observer News

Imo State College of Nursing and Midwifery, Orlu Might Be Banned

The Imo State College of Nursing and Midwifery, Orlu may come under the hammer of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria(NMCN), following reports that the state government is interfering with the administration of the institution.

It was gathered that the state commissoner for education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha has developed a penchant for interfering with the school’s activities especially as it affects their examinations.

This, many staff and students fear will be detrimental to the college before the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.

According to some academic staff of the college, the commissoner had recently ordered the College Examination Officer, Mrs. Stellamaris Okechukwu to cancel students promotion resit examinations scheduled for 25th and 26th of February, 2021.

This examination cancellation by the commissioner, it was learned, incited some students to hold the Examination Officer hostage at her office for hours threatening to attack her if she did not continue with the examination.

It took the timely intervention of the security officers of the College to save the Examination Officer from the students.

Before the latest incident, Commissioner Ikegwuoha was said to have disrupted the first semester examinations of the 2019/2020 set of students that held in July of 2020 and the General Nursing Council Examination (GNCE) that held in August of 2020, because some recalcitrant students did not want a re-sit for the courses failed.

This action, it was gathered, almost resulted in the cancellation of the August 2020 GNCE by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and closure of the College.

In the latest edition of the General Nursing Curriculum, the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria insists that “The student shall be allowed to resit any failed course. A maximum of three courses shall be allowed for resit per semester.”

One of the staff said, “This was what some government officials did in 2018 when they illegally removed Princess Ngozi Duru as the college provost. One of the consequences was that the college posted abysmally poor results as reports from Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, November 2018 General Nursing Council Examination result list, showed that our college had 38.33 percentage pass because students who failed examinations were allowed to continue. But, when Princess Duru was reinstated in 2020, our students posted a record breaking 100 percentage pass with about 14 students making credit in the November 2020 General Nursing Council Examination. That singular result ranked us as the best college of nursing in Nigeria.

“How can students who failed the College examinations dictate how or when they will resit for the examination? Some recalcitrant students went to the Commissioner for Education and complained about their resit examinations and without inquiries Ikegwuoha cancelled the promotion resit examination scheduled by the College. They want to pass exams without sitting for them. The truth remains that the Commissioner for Education and some persons are playing politics with this College of Nursing in Orlu which is so sad, it is jeopardizing the life of innocent students in the College.”

The staff also accused the commissioner of disregarding the provisions of the Curriculum of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and the Edict of the College in the appointment of the acting provost of the College, Mrs. Hannah Offor.

It was gathered that Offor was only employed in the College in 2018 and was still undergoing probation before she was appointed as the acting provost of the institution by the commissioner even without possessing the minimum requirements of Masters in Nursing Science.

According to the latest Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria curriculum, ”The head of a school/ College shall be a registered Nurse educator with first degree in Nursing and minimum of master’s degree in Nursing.”

The staff wondered why Prof. B.T.O. Ikegwuoha would appoint Offor as Acting Provost ahead of three other qualified, confirmed and experienced academic staff of the institution.

When our correspondent met Prof. Ikegwuoha in his office, the commissoner asked our correspondent to visit the college to get any required clarification.

Source: The Nation Newspaper

NUC Upgrades Bachelor of Physiotherapy Programme to Doctor of Physiotherapy

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has upgraded the programme and curriculum of Bachelor of Physiotherapy/Bachelor of Medical Rehabilitation, which was a five year programme to Doctor of physiotherapy, now a six years programme.

The introduction of the new curriculum is contained in a recent circular jointly signed by the Registrar, Medical Rehabilitation Therapists (Registration) Board of Nigeria (MRTB) Dr (Mrs) Olufunke Taibat Akanle and Board Chairman, Dr (Mrs) Umo Edet Udom, addressed to all vice-chancellors, provosts, dean of faculties, and heads of departments of all tertiary institutions in the country.

The Registrar explained the essence of the adjustment was to raise practice standards in the profession as well as to meet knowledge and skills gap in the management of current prevailing non-communicable diseases.

“I write on behalf of the Medical Rehabilitation Therapists (Registration) Board of Nigeria (MRTB), established by degree 38 of 1988/Acts M9 LFN 2004, for the regulation and control of training and practice of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Audiology, Prosthetics and Orthotics, Chiropractic and Osteopathic Medicine in the health sector in Nigeria to formally draw your attention to the approval of the commencement of Doctor of Physiotherapy training (DPT) in Nigeria and hence to introduce to all the existing academic institutions running Physiotherapy training programme and institutions interested in running Physiotherapy programme to the upgrading of Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPT) programme  to DPT.

“This is in line with our statutory function of determining the standards to meet with the knowledge and skills demand in the management of current prevailing non-communicable diseases, and scale up all the necessary areas of specialisation that are needed to equip our students for the task ahead. Also to raise the standards of training of Physiotherapy in Nigeria to meet best practices”, she stated.

Although the NUC had earlier notified the MRTB Registrar on the conclusion of the upgrading exercise about three years ago, but it appears the circular was not delivered until recently.

In a circular dated 21 June 2018, signed by Director, Academic Planning Dr G.B Kumo, on behalf of the Executive Secretary, NUC, the conclusion of processes for the review of the curriculum of Bachelor of Physiotherapy to Doctor of Physiotherapy was confirmed, and 10 copies of the approved Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) were stated to have been sent to the MRTB.

The Executive Secretary wrote: “I am directed to appreciate the Registrar/CEO and the MRTB for partnering with the Commission in sponsoring the review and upgrading of BMAS for the B.Sc Physiotherapy/B.Sc Medical Rehabilation Programme (5 years) to Doctor of Physiotherapy (6 Years).

“I am to confirm that the review/upgrading exercise has been concluded successfully and ten copies of the finalized BMAS for Doctor of Physiotherapy are hereby forwarded to the MRTB for its information”, he stated.

Credit: NUC Upgrades Bachelor of Physiotherapy to Doctor of Physiotherapy (pharmanewsonline.com)

DENOSA fully support CWU in its campaign on saving jobs at SABC

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) is in full support of its sister affiliate CWU in its quest to save the 400 jobs that are hanging on the line at the public broadcaster, SABC.

The stance taken by the SABC Board to gun for the defenceless and vulnerable workers, who earn a pittance compared to executive management’s fat pay, bears testimony to the fact that this board has proven not to be the needed solution to saving the SABC.

They opt for a decision that will close doors of SABC in the end. As an organisation for nurses in the country, DENOSA is reliant on SABC in conveying health messages to the masses of our people in their homes and in the language they understand.

As nurses, we sympathize with the journalists who have been with us in the wards during the most difficult time in this country when COVID-19 was wreaking havoc, reporting on the scourge that was taking its toll on nurses and other healthcare workers to the nation. The Board and executive management were nowhere to be found.

It is unfortunate that now that the dust has somewhat settled for a while, the same journalists who empowered the nation with relevant information are being thrown under the bus by the ruthless board.

DENOSA appeals to both the Minister of Communications and Members of Parliament not to allow this senselessness and madness to be approved, and that they must overturn this shallow-minded decision.

DENOSA wishes every employee at SABC all the strength and calls on them to stand up and raise their voice on this struggle, which matters greatly to them.

While we pledge our solidarity, we also appeal for their support as the same challenge is likely to hit the workers in the public sector, which is starting by undermining of collective bargaining agreements.

End

Issued by DENOSA

Philippines Lifts Ban on Filipino Nurses Who Wants To Travel Out, Set 5k Annual Limit

Only 5,000 health care workers will be allowed to leave every year to ensure the Philippines, which has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia, will have enough medical professionals to fight the pandemic, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Saturday.

This was after President Rodrigo Duterte has approved ending a ban on deploying health care workers overseas­—nurses and other medical workers—in face of the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 413,000 and killed at least 8,000 in the Philippines.

Duterte’s approval removed the bar that checked thousands of nurses to take up jobs abroad, Bello said.

This developed after nurses in public hospitals were also up in arms over an inadvertent demotion after the government raised their entry-level play to Salary Grade 15, or about P32,000 per month last July.

Instead of correspondingly upgrading the salaries of senior nurses, hospitals used the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Circular No. 2020-4 as basis against a general salary increase, the Filipino Nurses United (FNU) said.

Dated July 17, the circular was notable for upgrading nurses’ entry salary from SG 11 (about P22,000) to SG 15 (about P32,000), but it also effectively demoted long-serving nurses.

The circular modified the Nurse II position with SG 15 to the lower position of Nurse I, but with the same salary grade as Nurse II. As a result, nurses in the Nurse II to VII positions not only did not get any corresponding salary increase but were even demoted.

Last month, the Department of Health (DOH) issued Memorandum No. 2020-466 suspending the implementation of the DBM circular for Nurse II and above. According to the FNU, many hospitals ignored the order and have accordingly demoted their senior nurses.

“Thousands of nurses … suffered from demoralization and confusion as they were pressured by their employers to sign reappointment documents that demote them one rank from their current position,” the group said in a statement.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration suspended the deployment of doctors, nurses, and health care workers abroad to preserve its frontline force against the pandemic.

The ban took effect April 2 but was later revised to allow health workers with existing employment contracts as of March 8, 2020 to leave the country.

But the clamor mostly from nurses’ groups prompted the government to reconsider expanding the exemption to include health professionals with complete overseas employment contracts as of Aug. 31, 2020.

Around 1,000 to 1,500 nurses were affected by the temporary ban that began in April, according to POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia.

Earlier on, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said health professionals with complete overseas employment documents as of Aug. 31, 2020 were permitted to leave the country.

Previously, only health care workers with existing employment contracts as of March 8, 2020 were allowed to work abroad as the Philippines, a key exporter of nurses and other medical workers, sought to keep a reserve force in its battle against the pandemic.

The Philippines initially suspended the deployment of doctors, nurses, and health care workers abroad effective April 2.

The ban was aimed to “prioritize human resource allocation for the national health care system at the time of the national state of emergency,” the POEA said in a memorandum.

Workers covered by the deployment ban were the following:

• Medical doctor/physician

• Nurse

• Microbiologist

• Molecular biologist

• Medical technologist

• Clinic analyst

• Respiratory therapist

• Pharmacist

• Laboratory technician

• X-ray/ radiologic technician

• Nursing assistant/nursing aid

• Operator of medical equipment

• Supervisor of health services and personal care

• Repairman of medical-hospital equipment

On October 1, the DOLE said it was open to lifting the overseas deployment ban on Filipino health workers as senators raised concerns over job opportunities for nurses.

“Our minds are very, very open to the possibility of lifting the temporary suspension of deployment,” Bello said during the Senate hearing on his agency’s proposed 2021 budget.

The labor chief made the statement after Sen. Nancy Binay said other countries may opt to hire nurses from other countries since they are unable to get Filipinos due to the ban.

Binay said, “Our nurses might not find jobs abroad anymore if the ban continues for a long time, because nurses from other countries may have already been hired.”

But Bello at that time said Binay’s worry was “far fetched” as Filipino nurses were “the most preferred nurses in the world.”

Credit: https://manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/340127/du30-ends-ban-on-healthcare-workers-leaving-ph-but-sets-5k-annual-limit.html

ICN Urges All Governments To Sign WHO’s Health Worker Safety Charter And Tackle The Dangers Faced By Nurses

International Council of Nurses (ICN) welcomes World Health Organization’s Health Worker Safety Charter launched today on World Patient Safety Day, after ICN’s own survey released earlier this week showed the extent of the dangers nurses face at work.   ICN’s report, Protecting Nurses from COVID-19 a Top Priority, has revealed how governments have failed to protect nurses and confirmed that more than 1,000 have died after contracting the virus.  

The report contains the results of a world-wide survey which lays bare the severity and magnitude of the dangers nurses and other healthcare workers face in the line of duty.

ICN Chief Executive Office Howard Catton said:   “Our report confirmed the magnitude and the severity of the risks nurses and healthcare workers (HCWs) around the world are facing now. More than 1,000 nurses have died, millions are infected with the coronavirus, shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) still exist, staff are not routinely being tested and they are still subject to violence and discrimination.  

‘Governments around the world have been slow or failed to protect nurses and others from the effects of the pandemic, and that’s why we’re calling on all governments, right here, right now, to sign the WHO charter and act on it.”   ICN has long argued that the safety of nurses and other healthcare workers should be a priority for governments so that patient safety can be guaranteed. It worked with WHO to develop the charter – Mr Catton is a member of WHO’s Patient Safety Network – and made recommendations about what needs to be done.  

The Charter contains many of ICN’s recommendations, including on zero tolerance of violence and abuse, safe staffing levels, reducing work-related stress, improving work-life balance, having all the equipment needed to do the job safely, including PPE, and open communication in the workplace.  

ICN is firmly backing the Charter and will work with its National Nursing Associations to encourage all governments to sign up and identify those that do not.   “The world already has a severe shortage of nurses: it cannot afford to lose any more, especially not now at the height of a global pandemic.  

‘As our report shows, it is hugely important for healthcare worker safety to be centre stage in the design and delivery of healthcare services.  

‘The pandemic is far from over and while the applause has stopped, nurses and the patients they care for are still in the eye of this deadly storm. Governments must commit to putting the safety of their healthcare workers at the centre of how their health systems are organised and managed. Doing so will improve health outcomes for their people and increase safety and security for their staff, and it will save nurses’ lives.”  

The theme of today’s WHO Patient Safety Day is Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety.  

Mr Catton concluded, “Our report and the Charter recognise that health worker safety and patient safety are two sides of the same coin – you cannot have one without the other they are indivisible.”  

Source: ICN

ICN Report Shows Governments Are Failing To Prioritize Nurses As Number Of Confirmed COVID-19 Nurse Deaths Passes 1000

On the eve of the World Health Organization’s World Patient Safety Day which this year focuses on health workforce safety, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) launches its latest COVID-19 report.

The report which includes a survey of a number of ICN’s National Nurses Associations reveals the continuing and catastrophic increase in the number of deaths and infection rates of nurses due to COVID-19.

ICN calls on governments to address their collective failure to prioritize health workers across the board, including lack of data collection on infection rates and inadequate PPE, particularly in care homes, as well as inadequate testing and IPC training, plus extensive reports of violence and discrimination against nurses, and a lack of mental health support.  

The report finds that more than 1000 nurses have died in 44 countries where data was available, with health worker infection rates on average around 10% of total infections globally.

This suggests that with almost 30 million people infected with the virus, as many as three million may be health workers. The survey also reveals less than half of countries surveyed classify COVID-19 as an occupational disease, which has serious implications for compensation from illness to death.

ICN President Annette Kennedy said, “ICN’s latest survey is a disturbing snapshot of how nurses and other health workers are still being exposed to COVID-19 and all its associated risks, including violence and prejudice, mental illness, infection and in what we now believe to be possibly thousands of cases, making the ultimate sacrifice by paying with their lives.  

‘We talk about the new norm created by the pandemic, but it has also confirmed some long-understood truths in the nursing community, that nurses are undervalued, underpaid and sometimes treated as expendable. This is a scandalous situation which ICN urges governments to rectify.”  

ICN CEO Howard Catton said, “The report’s findings add to a growing list of failures by governments to act to protect nurses and other health workers during the pandemic.

By not collecting data on deaths and infections or recognising COVID-19 as an occupational disease, governments are effectively looking the other way. The consequence is that staff are left without equipment, training, testing, mental health or financial support. Make no mistake: by putting staff at risk governments are also putting patients at risk.

This ICN COVID-19 report coincides later this week with World Patient Safety Day which will shine further light on health workforce safety. The simple and undeniable truth is that health workforce safety and patient safety are two sides of the same coin, you cannot have one without the other.”  

Commenting on the breadth and depth of the psychological pressures nurses are facing highlighted by the survey, Mr. Catton said, “There is a huge hidden mental health risk to our nursing workforce submerged below the surface of the pandemic. ICN research indicates the real scale of the mental health legacy of COVID-19 will undoubtedly mean that sickness, absenteeism, burnout and nurses leaving the profession because of ill health will increase, making shortages even more severe and resulting in an unquantifiable loss of experience.”  

Source: ICN Press Release

RCN Considers 2021 vote on Re-joining International Council of Nursing

Discussions are underway at the Royal College of Nursing for a potential 2021 vote on the college re-joining the International Council of Nurses.

The RCN International Committee is liaising with RCN Council on ways it could consult members on the issue ahead of a possible vote at the RCN annual general meeting (AGM) next year.

The college left the ICN, a global network of more than 100 national nursing organisations, in 2013 over concerns about costs.

For more than three years, the We Are Global Nurses group – made up of RCN members – has been lobbying for the college to sign back up, and managed to secure a debate on the matter at RCN Congress in 2019.

RCN Council subsequently agreed to gather details of membership from the ICN, to ensure the latest information was available ready for a vote on re-joining.

The ICN International Committee met on 8 September to discuss the next steps. The committee will now make recommendations to RCN Council on how an engagement exercise with members could be held ahead of a potential vote on ICN membership at the 2021 AGM.

Nurse campaigners fighting for the move told Nursing Times they were “really pleased” that such developments had been made.

Previously, We Are Global Nurses had raised concerns after writing several letters to RCN leaders seeking updates but receiving no reply.

However, at the end of February the RCN had confirmed to the group that it was involved in an “ongoing dialogue” with the ICN.

In a joint statement, registered nurses Jeni Watts and Paul Jebb, who are leading the campaign for ICN membership, welcomed the latest update, although noted their “frustration” at how long the process had taken.

They said the events of 2020 had shown that there was “never a better time to have the strength, power and unity of a global alliance” and that few issues affecting nursing – such as pay and safe staffing – were unique to the UK.

“Ultimately it will be the decision of all RCN members if we re-join but our group will continue to raise awareness of the importance of global working, solidarity, and the good work of ICN,” they added.

“We have full confidence that RCN Council will ensure a meaningful conversation on global nursing and what we can gain and give through this global alliance.”

The ICN has taken a leading role in campaigning on behalf of nurses during the coronavirus pandemic on issues including personal protective equipment and abuse against nurses.

Its current chief executive, Howard Catton, was head of policy and international affairs at the RCN for 10 years before taking up a role with the ICN in 2016.

Source: https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/leadership-news/rcn-schedules-2021-vote-on-re-joining-global-nursing-federation-18-09-2020/