Editor’s note Contents
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EDITORIAL Telephone 020 7501 6785 Email email@example.com Editor Mike Shallcross Deputy editor Alex Turnbull ADVERTISING Enquiries 020 7501 6380 Recruitment 020 7501 6727 Fax 020 7501 2325 Publisher Colin Williams Production manager Kyri Apostolou Production assistant Jamie Hodgskin Circulation manager Chris Jones Managing director Anthony Kerr Chief executive officer Ben Allen To request your own free copy of Independent Nurse, go to http://registrations.markallengroup.com CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT firstname.lastname@example.org, 01322 221144 EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Jenny Aston Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Granta Medical Practices, RCGP Nurse Champion Dr Gabrielle Tracy McClelland Senior Lecturer, Research and Knowledge Transfer & Health Team Lead-Nursing, School of Health Studies, University of Bradford Dr Crystal Oldman CBE Chief Executive, The Queen’s Nursing Institute Ian Peate OBE Director of Studies, Head of School, Gibraltar Health Authority Jane Scullion Consultant Respiratory Nurse, University Hospitals of Leicester Linda Nazarko Nurse Consultant, West London Mental Health Trust Gavin Wollacott Nurse Practitioner, Dartmouth Medical Practice, Devon Julie Roye Specialist Nurse Practitioner, Oakview Family Practice, Kent Simon Browes Nurse consultant in primary and urgent care, Nottingham Dr Nita Muir Head of School of Nursing and Allied Health, University of Chichester
here is no word in the English language for a parent who has lost a child. We have widows and orphans, but nothing equivalent for the cruellest of bereavements. Is it because it is a fear or a horror that transcends description; or just something we cannot bear to contemplate?
Archie Battersbee and the limits of law T
their child might recover. Both positions are understandable, but a courtroom is no place to reach a consensus. We might baulk at Archie’s mother’s description of the withdrawal of life support as a ‘choreographed execution’, but we can understand the intolerable mental pressure that took her there. The exploitation of these cases by religious zealots, which often lead to threats against clinicians are less forgivable.
“The court case around Archie is a minus sum game with no possible winners”
This week we have all been reminded that such tragedies do occur by the court battle going on to determine whether Archie Battersbee, a 12-year-old boy from Essex with a catastrophic brain injury, should be taken off life support. His doctors insist that he is brain-stem dead; his family insist that this is not definitive and want his life to be preserved. It is a minus sum game with no possible winners.
A consistent feature of these thankfully rare cases is a tendency to go to law. Clinical teams have to make tough decisions with cold objective data, parents will fight like tigers for a grain of hope that
Something should change, and there is much to welcome in the recent suggestion by Lady Finlay, a crossbench peer and professor of palliative medicine, that the government is considering an inquiry into different ways of handling such cases, such as independent mediation. It cannot square every circle, but may help to ease the unbearable, however slightly.
Mike Shallcross, editor, Independent Nurse
IN THIS ISSUE
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31,848 January – December 2021
News focus Alex Turnbull looks at how the Government’s recent pay offer has been received by nurses 6
Journals Mark Greener summarises the latest research relevant to primary care clinicians 12
Opinion Racism is rampant in the NHS, and nurses are demanding action writes Sadiq Bhanbhro 10
Professional Kathy Oxtoby look at how trauma-informed training is benefiting staff and patients 26
Opinion Workforce planning is key to the future of nursing, writes Crystal Oldman 10
Resources The essential training, guidance, events and tool kits for primary care nurses 30
August 2022 | Independent Nurse | 3