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Top nurses overburdened

26th February 2009

The Royal College of Nursing has said that senior nurses are being given too much administrative work and as a result are finding it hard to "do their jobs properly".

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The RCN conducted sessions of focus groups with 90 ward sisters in England and compiled a report based on the new information, in addition to previous research and surveys.

Ward sisters will usually have been employed as a nurse by the health service for a decade before being given the job.

The RCN stated that ward sisters' roles had not been set out clearly, which had resulted in different tasks being expected of them according to their location.

The union said that many ward sisters - also called charge nurses or ward managers -  were expected to perform administrative jobs which took them away from managing patient care on their wards.

The RCN said hospital heads needed to look closely at what they expected ward sisters to do.

Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: "Talented nurses should be free to lead and to nurse."

A Department of Health spokesman said the government would take the research "very seriously".

"The report highlights the challenges that need to be overcome in order to ensure that this committed and dedicated group of staff are free to focus on improving the quality of care which patients receive."

 

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