ROUNDUP 2: The government wants to ease the burden on nurses – clinics are punished | News

(new: health insurance companies, patient ombudsmen, Verdi and Green)

BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – German hospitals in the future should employ as many nurses as are actually needed to provide good care. To this end, the federal government wants to introduce a three-tier staff evaluation instrument, government circles announced on Thursday. Clinics that do not meet the planned new requirements should therefore be sanctioned from 2025 at the latest, as it was said. Initial responses to the move were mixed.

For example, North Rhine-Westphalia is now showing just how big the gaps and frustration in nursing are. For ten weeks, employees of six university clinics have been fighting for better working conditions. The medical director of the university clinic in Essen, Professor Jochen A. Werner, told a German news agency that the supply was “significantly” reduced. The staff shortage is exacerbated by the strikes and absences related to the crowns. Occasionally there are “very dangerous situations”.

In order to improve the situation in the long run, patients should be divided into eight so-called fitness levels each day. This is what the German Hospital Association said in a statement on the planned new instrument referred to by the government. There are four levels of primary care and four levels of special care. For each level, specify in minutes how long the maintenance takes.

In total, this should result in a time per patient value, with additional computational parameters (“baseline values ​​and case values”) added. Most importantly, according to the hospital company, the need for nursing staff should be mapped. It is therefore expected that the officially defined time-of-care needs per patient will increase by an average of 8.1 percent thanks to the new instrument.

The reform law is to be prepared with the key points sent to the parliamentary groups of the traffic light coalition. According to government circles, the test phase is planned for January 1, 2023. For now, a “representative selection” of hospitals is to be involved.

From January 1, 2024, the Staff Assessment Tool will be mandatory in all clinics. However, if a hospital has collective labor agreements or other agreements to dismiss nursing staff, hospitals should not be forced to use the new instrument. Then there should be no threat of sanctions. As has also been said in government circles, such a possible alternative to the planned personnel appraisal instrument, as has been said in government circles, would be the relief collective agreement currently being struggled by employees of the University Hospital in North Rhine-Westphalia. .

The Verdi union welcomed the announcements. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) made it clear that “he wants to seriously address the structural staff shortage in clinics,” said Verdi board member Sylvia Bhler. Statutory health insurance companies see this initiative as a “signal of hope”. However, “moving to a modern nursing staff appraisal would be the right step,” said association spokesman Florian Lanz of the German Press Agency. It would be better than a planned procedure to automatically determine the need for care using digitally stored diagnoses and care measures. According to Lanz, Lauterbach should not ignore existing approaches.

The management of the German Patient Protection Foundation, Eugen Brysch, said that qualified staff is a condition for decent hospital care. “But it’s already clear that the staff appraisal will not create any new jobs.” Moreover, there is no staff assessment tool in geriatric care. Meanwhile, the Greens in the Bundestag believe that the government’s plans offer “concrete prospects for an increase in the number of colleagues,” two of their members said in a statement. / Bw / DP / jha

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