Deal waiting times with effective staffing of theatre nurses

Waiting times

As like in many other countries, the surgical waiting times due to COVID-19 have grown in the UK too. A majority of people are on waitlists for even uncomplicated surgical operations like orthopedics, ophthalmology, general surgery, urology, ENT surgery, and gynecology. While there’s still a question about how the nation will handle this huge backlog, we have a solution in hand. Effective staffing of theatre nurses can help. Read the blog for more information.

What is the patient waiting time? Is it really challenging?

The patient waiting time refers to the time a particular patient spends before being attended by medical staff for consultation or treatment. The patient clinic waiting time indirectly signals the quality of service a hospital offers.

Countries around the world strive to overcome waiting lists in order to stay ahead in the competitive healthcare system. In the United States (US), the Institute of Medicine’s report outlines six guiding principles to deal with the issue of providing timely care and reducing harmful delays. Similarly in the United Kingdom (UK), the Government sets a range of strategies to attend to all patients within 30 minutes of their appointment time

While it is agreed that a well-structured healthcare service management system should never have its patients wait for a longer time, the reality is totally unfair. The guardian confirms that by December 2021 in NHS England alone there were 6.1 million people who are kept on the waiting list for their hospital treatment. Read the ensuing sections to learn how to handle the situation effectively.

Can effective staffing help avert the situation?

Did you know that having the right number of qualified, experienced, and competent nurses can boost the healthcare? Yes, the right number of registered nurses can invariably lead to improved patient outcomes, reduced waiting list and mortality rates and better productivity.

The planning of safe and effective healthcare is complex and it solely depends on the constantly changing patients’ diagnosis and treatment based on the type of health and care service they adopt. 

Effective staffing refers to the situation when the healthcare services have: 

  • the right numbers 
  • with the right skills 
  • in the right place 
  • at the right time. 

Right number here means having qualified, competent and experienced nurses in place. This again brings us to a question of “Is UK appropriately staffed at present to handle the waiting list crisis?” The answer is no. The issue of nursing shortage has been ongoing and has impacted both domestic and international workforce supply in the UK. While the UK government has taken many initiatives to handle this staffing issue, there needs to be more systemic solutions to address the the nursing shortage. 

Some of the ways to outbeat the situation can be

  • create trustworthy and robust workforce strategies 
  • pass a legislation for the accountable provision of staffing levels 
  • boost funding with for safe staffing of healthcare services 
  • foster scrutiny, transparency, openness and accountability

Consequences of longer delays in waiting times

In a survey conducted in North Ireland by Royal College of Surgeons, the respondents said that the delays deetoriated the patients health leading to complex scenarios and surgeries. A simple bypass or minor amputation became a major amputation in many cases.

Around six in ten surgeons (59.77%) confirmed that they had to take up more complex surgeries due to the longer wait list, including advanced cancers.

Deal waiting times with effective staffing of theatre nurses

While discussing about the waiting lists in one of a recent surveys by Nusing Times, the respondents who were the theatre nurses themselves declare that elective care backlogs soar high due various reasons like lack of staff, last-minute cancellations (38%), and prioritisation of hospital beds for Covid-19 patients (32%). Redeployment of threatre staff was one of the major reasons, which worsesned the situation. Now what could be a solution for this situation? What could be done to stop wait lists and clawback productivity. 

It is high time the contribution of theatre nurses has to be recognised to help recover patients from the pandemic. There has to be a new alternative to hire theatre nurses, if not on full-time, alteast on a temporary basis adds can address the situation well. Highly organized, compassionate, with ability to concentrate for longer period of time in the theatres, and and to act quickly in emergency situations, the efficiency of a threatre nurse is incomparable. Times like this, there adequate staffing of theatre nurses can help alleviate lengthy wait lists to a greater extent.

As we all are looking for a sustainable resilient recovery from the pandemic’s effects. Sourcing the right amount of theatre nurses and operating department practitioners on the frontlines, will help drive positive changes of reducing elective care surgeries and infections across the NHS. if you agree, contact JP Medicals Recruitment for unlimited supply of Theatre Nurses right now! We are one of the NHS-preferred healthcare recruitment agencies the UK who outsource medical recruitment specialists of all kinds anytime! Contact us for more information. 

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