News in Brief – veteran services funding increase, non-executive directors appointed, new Chief Nursing Officer for Wales

It’s been a busy couple of weeks at Leading Healthcare. Our Forward Healthcare Awards are up and running and excitement is building for the rest of the week.

You can follow all the latest from the awards through our Twitter account, here.

In the meantime, catch up on current healthcare headlines through our latest news round-up…

Veteran health services to get funding boost

Veteran health services are set to receive a £2.7 million funding boost, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced. The additional money will see extra services added to Op COURAGE – the Veterans’ Mental Health and Wellbeing Service.

Specialised care coordinators will also be installed to act as a single point of care to improve veteran support.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Leo Docherty, said: “This targeted increase of support will help those veterans who may be struggling, particularly in light of recent events in Afghanistan.

“For those who served in Afghanistan, and for all former service personnel, mental health support is available through Op COURAGE. I urge any veteran to access this specialist support.”

New RCN helpline to support members launched

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has set up a new confidential support phone line, to improve staff wellbeing. The new line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Pat Cullen, General Secretary and Chief Executive, said: “Anyone can be affected by sexual harassment. It’s not restricted to any gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality or role. If you have been affected, it is important that you are listened to, supported, and helped to work through any actions you wish to take. This 0800 number will allow members or staff to discuss any concerns about sexual harassment-related to RCN activity.

“All staff and members have a right to feel safe and we are taking all necessary steps to provide that security. We must tackle the issues and behaviours that have no place in our college. We must demand better, for members and for the profession.”

New fitness scheme set up in the North East

A new scheme has been launched across the North East to get people moving and improve wellbeing. The HowFit scheme will see informative leaflets distributed to households across the region.

Created by Dr Steven Parry, Consultant Physician, the scheme was developed alongside a personal trainer and professional physiotherapists in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Dr Parry said: “Being at home for a long time during the COVID-19 pandemic means that few of us have been getting the exercise that we used to. Even before the COVID-19 virus hit, not enough of us were getting the exercise we needed to stay as fit as possible.

“Regular exercise carries a number of important benefits, which have never been more important than during the pandemic. However, I realised that there are very few exercise programmes for people to carry out in their own home and even fewer that are suitable for people who are unfit or who have difficulty mobilising.”

Nurse-led discharge unit to streamline patient journeys

A nurse-led discharge unit (NLDU) has been relaunched at the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton (UHDB). The refurbished unit is aiming to streamline the discharge process for patients.

Sharon Martin, Executive Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are committed to improving the patient experience at UHDB, and the relaunch of this fantastic unit is just another way we’re offering the best possible care in the timeliest manner to the communities we serve. I would like to thank everyone involved in the NLDU for their consistent hard work and commitment to improving our services.”

The unit has space for 10 beds, as well as two beds for elderly or frail patients.

Patients will be admitted to the unit if they are deemed to be in a stable condition, and a team of nurses and healthcare assistants will carry out further tests to see if they need to be admitted to a ward.

Chief Nursing Officer for Wales begins role

The Welsh government has appointed a new Chief Nursing Officer, Sue Tranka, who began her tenure on the 31 August.

Originally from South Africa, Sue has been working for NHS England since January 2020 as Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for Patient Safety and Innovation.

NHS Wales Chief Executive Andrew Goodall, says: “I’m delighted to welcome Sue to Wales and to her new role leading the nursing profession here. This has been – and continues to be – a challenging time for the NHS and I know that Sue is keen to meet the workforce and understand the pressures they are facing so that we can support them as we move into the COVID recovery period. Her broad experience and knowledge will be a great asset to us during this time and I’m looking forward to working with her.”

Two new board members appointed by Health Data Research UK

Two new board members have been appointed to the Health Data Research UK board, as Non-Executive Directors and Trustees.

Dr Glen Wells and Edosa Odaro will join the board – Glen is Director of Strategy and Planning at the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Edosa is the Head of Data at AIG.

Dr Graham Spittle, Chair of Board at Health Data Research UK (HDR UK), said: “I am delighted to welcome Glenn and Edosa as members of the Health Data Research UK Board. They each bring exceptional skills and knowledge to the Board and will complement the existing expertise and experience around the board room table. They join at a perfect time with Health Data Research UK having recently become a charity and preparing for the next period of its development through the forthcoming Quinquennium Review.”