"London trusts unhappy with mental health nursing graduates"
By Ian Birch
The nursing industry's magazine, Nursing Times, claims that a group of London NHS mental health trusts are unhappy with the quality of mental health nurses leaving university courses, with fewer than a sixth regarded as good enough to appoint.
The Freedom of Information Act report showed that one university has been dropped from the Strategic Health Authority's list of accredited higher education instituations. However, the article in Nursing Times says that "an NHS senior source told Nursing Times that while the quality of mental health nurses produced by the universities was variable, the overall quality was not as bad as the document suggested".
One reader posted on their website:
"Why should this come as a surprise? It has been apparent for some years now, that newly qualified nurses lack the breadth of knowledge and experience that their hospital-trained forbears enjoyed. This can only result in less able nurses at the end of the day. Not the fault of the nurses - but rather their training - or the way it was designed, at least."
The news comes just a month after NHS London -- the largest funder of student nursing places in England -- announced plans to reduce the number of available student places.
A BBC report at the time said NHS London was aiming for a tougher recruitment process after complaints from senior nurses that some students have poor literacy, numeracy and attitudes towards patient care. It said applicants would need to show more compassion and commitment to caring for patients.