Inequalities in Nursing

5710 Words23 Pages
This assignment will critique the phenomenon of suspension within the NHS and explore the inequalities in how the Department of Health (DOH) manage this process. This will focus upon the differences between how medics (doctors and dentists) and nurses are managed within the NHS. The number of those affected by the process of suspension will be highlighted and there will be a discussion of the policies and procedures available to these professionals working within the NHS. A brief description of why suspension occurs will be offered and the experience of those affected by the process of suspension will be examined which will look at stress; in particular within nursing, bullying and harassment and look at how whistleblowers are treated.…show more content…
For nurses and other non doctors and dentists there are voluntary guidelines in place to manage suspensions with no timescales and the emphasis is focused upon good practice and the guidelines state that tools such as, root cause analysis and the incident decision tree may be used (DOH 2006 p.15). The only major work regarding suspensions in the UK was published by the NAO (2003). The study of clinical staff in the UK, which includes nurses, used a data collection survey of NHS Hospital and Ambulance Trusts in England. An expert panel reviewed methodology and emergent key findings which in terms of nurse suspensions revealed that between April 2001-July 2002, 567 nurses and midwives were suspended for at least one month (p.15). This amounted to 53% of total NHS staff suspension. Nurses were more likely to be formally suspended than doctors and the average length of suspension was 19 weeks (p.11). At the end of the suspension 44% returned to work and fewer than 20% were suspended for reasons of professional competency (p.16). The survey also looked at Trusts’ adherence to best practice, which it was concluded that in many cases it was not followed, particularly in regard to; consultation of alternative options to suspension, regular progress reviews and reporting to the Trust Board (p.25). The report stated that two thirds of local Trust’s use DOH guidance as a basis for their local procedures but that a quarter of Trust’s felt that
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